Thursday, June 9, 2011

On a Cold Summer Night, "Silver Sparrow"

I've been watching* Tayari Jones, following her blog and writing, for a while now. She's been turning up in all sorts of places, writing a popular blog on She Writes, being profiled in the MayJune 2011 issue of P&W( though that's not online, only in print - dang), winning awards here and there.   Jones, a Professor in the Rutgers MFA Program,  has wonderfully elastic prose and writes intriguing stories.

Her third novel, "Silver Sparrow," has just been released and I'm proud to say I scooted right down to Copperfield's Books (my Indie) to snap up a first edition.Yes indeedy.

Links to more legible version
Now here's the next fab thing: she'll be at a  Rumpus Room Reading event, namely, Cold Summer Nights, on June 13th,  in San Francisco. That's next Monday, folks. SF in June, brrrr! definitely a cold summer night, even in normal times. But what better way to warm up than hunkered down at the Make Out Room, with Tayari Jones, Camille Dungy, Tamin Answary and a host of others in a thick peasoup of fine words. So if you're in the neighborhood, go. And if you're not in the neighborhood, go anyway!

As a bit of a tease, here are the first few sentences from "Silver Sparrow" -
"My father, James Withespoon, is a bigamist. He was already married ten years when he first clamped eyes on my mother. In 1968, she was working at the gift-wrap counter at Davisons's downtown when my father asked her to wrap the carving knife he had bought his wife for their wedding anniversary. Mother said she knew that something wasn't right between a man and a woman when the gift was a blade."

Love the way she so succinctly gives us the time, the place, the situation, the conflict and a knife in three sentences. And makes it look so easy. Whoooeee!

(But of course, there's a Napa Valley Writers Conference connection: She studied in the Arizona State University MFA Program, working with Ron Carlson, one of our highly esteemed and more frequent faculty.)

* hey, not in a creepy way! interested-in-an-up-and-coming-writer way!

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