Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Melissa Hardy

Melissa Hardy's first novel was A Cry of Bees, which was published in 1970 when she was just seventeen years old. Since then she has won the Journey Prize for an excerpt from her short story collection Constant Fire and the Canadian Authors Association Jubilee Award for The Uncharted Heart. Her writing has appeared in many literary journals and has been twice anthologized in Best American Short Stories and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Her latest book, The Geomancer's Compass, marks her debut as an YA author. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Melissa Hardy makes her home in Port Stanley, Ontario.

Earlier this month I asked her what she was reading.  Her reply:
I have a confession to make: these days I mostly listen to audiobooks. Because I have a long commute to work and a dog who needs running, this means I get a lot of reading in. 37 books so far this year, including David Foster Wallace’s mammoth opus Infinite Jest, which I had to read with a study guide (but mostly loved and, when I did not love, admired). I also like to listen to books while knitting and with a glass of wine – no hand to hold the book, you see? Besides, it’s always so nice to be read to. I’m Audible.com’s best customer and I highly recommend a membership.

I have just finished J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s not going to win any great literary acclaim, but it was a well-drawn and well-observed comedy of manners and moved along at a good clip. Her ability to create a complete world – so wonderfully manifested in Hogwarts - served her well in her first adult novel and her characters were well drawn and as complex as they needed to be to move the story along. Her embrace of the grotesque survived the Harry Potter series; I particularly loved her description of Howard’s belly.

I’ve just started Helen Schulman’s This Beautiful Life (so far, good) and have queued up on my ipod The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.
Visit Melissa Hardy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue