Monday, April 25, 2011

Rae Meadows

Rae Meadows is the author of Calling Out, which received the 2006 Utah Book Award for fiction, and No One Tells Everything, a Poets & Writers Notable Novel. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Her new novel is Mothers and Daughters.

Recently I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I went to a reading the other night at the Loft Literary Center here in Minneapolis, featuring the AWP Award Series winners for 2009: Kevin Fenton (Merit Badges) and Christine Sneed who won the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction for her collection Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry. I’m not a very good listener at readings, my mind often drifting, but I was utterly taken with the story Christine read. So I’m reading her book. In the story “12 + 12” a woman is having an affair with her father’s friend whose own daughter was recently killed in a car accident. The tone of the narrator is quirkily upbeat, despite the deeply sad terrain, which somehow manages to make the story all the more poignant. These are richly rewarding stories, and I marvel at Christine’s mastery of the story form.

We moved to Minneapolis from Madison last fall, and all our books are still in boxes in the basement. My husband pulled out a box the other day and in it found Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles (translated from the Polish), which we are now both intermittently reading. Schulz, a contemporary of Kafka’s, was killed by the Gestapo in 1942. He wrote just two collections of short stories and a lost manuscript, though he has had a small revival as of late. I don’t even know how to describe these stories. Fables? Surrealism? Poetry? All I know is that his language is remarkable, intensely imaginative and beautiful, and the writing is unlike anything I’ve read before.
Read an excerpt from Mothers and Daughters, and learn more about the book and author at Rae Meadows's website.

The Page 69 Test: Mothers and Daughters.

--Marshal Zeringue