May 28, 2009

May Book Swap

First off was John Hunter who brought Anne Enright's Booker Prize wining novel The Gathering because it is set in Dublin in the New Ireland of the "economic miracle." John also donated Margaret Atwood's book of essays Negotiating With the Dead: A Writer on Writing. John was here to work on what he said people are now calling "life writing." His biography is about Samuel Smiles.

Next was John's wife Janet who donated I Never Knew That About Ireland by Christopher Winn, a book full of interesting asides on historical characters and places in Ireland. She also brought along Ken Hom's cookbook Ken Hom's Vegetarian Cookery.

Liza Filby who was here on the retreat before this one came next. She reintroduced Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim and Wynton Marsalis' road trip memoir Jazz in the bittersweet blues of life.

The Irish poet Tadhg Ó Dúshláine donated another of his great books of poetry Mallacht Famaire which he finished last year as well as a copy of some new work tentatively titled "Home and Away" or "Is Abhaile Againn."

Anne Mini, an American author, who has a great blog for writers that you should check out, who was also here last retreat, reintroduced Philip K. Dick's, Valis and F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise.

Lori Neville, a Canadian writer and artist who lives in California, donated The Virginia Woolf Writers' Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing. Lori also donated Gary Snyder and Tom Killion's book The High Sierra of California. Killion did the illustrations from woodcuts, in what Lori called "a feast for the eyes" and Snyder wrote the poems and journals. The poet works where Lori works at University of California, Davis.

The South African artist Deborah Clarke, who lives in France, brought a photo memoir of her father JFC Clarke's book A Glimpse Into Marabastad which documents a township in South Africa back in the early 70s.

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