News for February 2011

Truth Telling

From an interview on Cara Hoffman’s blog:

“When I went to Japan, I was looking for the textural details of the atomic bomb experience for a novel. Three months into my visit, September 11th happened, and the testimonies changed. The atomic bomb survivors were shaken by the attacks, just as the rest of the world was, and as a result, they began to remember differently – which is to say, they recovered buried details of loss, of pain, and of love. At that moment, the tables turned. I was no longer seeking them out for their help; they wanted to talk to me so that I could be a witness to their experiences and a repository of their memories, their lost family members, their suffering. It was an incredible honor, and I do feel like I wrote the book, in part, for them: as a testament to those moments of connection and their trust in me. That is the closest I come to political.”

For the whole interview, click here. And look out for Cara’s debut, So Much Pretty, coming from S&S on March 15th.

For links to all articles and essays, check the sidebar.

National Book Critics Circle Award Events

A panel discussion and a reading before the awards ceremony. Here are the details. All open to the public.

NBCC Finalists in Conversation at The Graduate Center

March 08, 2011 7:00 pm
Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY Fifth Avenue
between 34th and 35th New York, NY

NBCC biography and autobiography finalists in conversation with biography chair Eric Banks and autobiography co chair Rigoberto Gonzalez. With biography finalists Sarah Bakewell and Yunte Huang, autobiography finalists Patti Smith, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, and others. Hosted by Brenda Wineapple.

National Book Critics Circle Awards: Finalists Reading, 6:00 PM
March 09, 2011 6:00 pm
The New School 66 West 12th St New York, NY

From Critical Mass, the blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors

The NBCC is posting a review of each nominated book for this year’s awards. It is a great way to get a sense of them all, and decide which ones you are going to buy and read. Today’s entry:

“The many avenues of Hiroshima in the Morning–explorations of history, of culture, of family, of self–ebb and flow to deliver a stunning portrait of survival. Rizzuto’s writing is lyrical and moving, transcendent and beautiful, yet it constructs a robust narrative that does not succumb to the gravity of the world events that inform it.

Above all, Rizzuto’s gorgeous and hard-won memoir is an exploration of story. How we shape it and how it shapes us, how it imprisons us though eventually, mercifully, it liberates us: “How we tell our stories makes all the difference. They are where we store our tears, where the eventual healing lies… What September 11 gave to the hibakushas, and what they gave in turn to me, is a way to re-enter memory.”

Read the entire article here.

More praise for Hiroshima in the Morning can be found here.