Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jacqueline West

Jacqueline West’s The Books of Elsewhere fantasy series for young readers is published by Dial in the USA and will also be published in Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, and Catalan.

Her poetry has appeared in a variety of print and online publications and has garnered several awards, including a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize and two Pushcart nominations. Cherma, her series of poems about Wisconsin’s Bohemian immigrants, was published in March 2010 by the University of Wisconsin’s Parallel Press chapbook series.

Earlier this month I asked West what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m currently hooked on Gillian Flynn. I read her latest book, Dark Places, twice in a row—once to myself, and once aloud to my husband—and now I’m reading her debut novel, Sharp Objects. These are dark, bitter books, with murder at their centers, but Flynn’s characterization is so sharp, her use of language so rich and fluid, and her creation of settings so pitch-perfect that there’s a lot of beauty balancing the brutality.

I’m also in the middle of Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless. Valente uses dense, poetic language to retell old myths and create new or alternate histories; in Deathless, a romance set in Stalinist Russia is interwoven with creatures and characters from Russian folklore. Her style is so lush, so full of figurative language and artful description, that it’s like a piece of dark chocolate packed with a thousand intense flavors—spice and sea salt and ginger and honey, delicious and overwhelming at the same time.
Visit Jacqueline West's website and the The Books of Elsewhere website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Jacqueline West and Brom Bones.

--Marshal Zeringue