Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nadia Hashimi speaks to AAUW group about "The Pearl That Broke Its Shell"

Nadia Hashimi, author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, recently spoke with the Naperville Area Branch of the American Association of University Women in Illinois about the subjugation of females in her book.  Members had read The Pearl The Broke Its Shell, and were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Nadia to discuss her work and the issues she talks about in it.

AAUW focuses heavily on pushing and empowering women through education, so Nadia's work invited fruitful and relevant discussion on the role of women, both what it is and what it should be.  The group said that, "although most of the time they felt sad and very concerned about the outcome for each character, there is an element of hope at the end of each woman’s story that mitigates the sorrow."

Nadia continues her involvement with AAUW in the fall, when she will be a guest speaker at a luncheon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Obituary for the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet James Tate

Prolific poet James Tate passed away last Friday at the age of 71. You can read the full New York Times obituary here.
Often praised for his simplicity, and his ability to find the comedy in tragic scenes, Tate won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for Selected Poems, a collection culled from 9 volumes of his poetry. Then, in 1994, he was awarded the National Book Award for his collection Worshipful Company of Fletchers. The next year the Academic of American Poets honored him with the Wallace Stevens Award. He taught poetry at several universities, including Berkeley, Columbia, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he remained since 1971, and where his wife also taught. 

His seventeenth collection of poetry, Dome of the Hidden Pavilion, will be published by Ecco in August. You can preorder it here

Click here to hear Tate reading one of his earliest and most famous poems, "The Lost Pilot." 
And to see more of Tate's work, please visit our new online poetry catalog here

Friday, July 10, 2015

Read the First Chapter of Harper Lee's GO SET A WATCHMAN!

Today, the first chapter of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman was released in the Wall Street Journal! Read it (or listen to Reese Witherspoon's audiobook narration) here

The much-anticipated book will be released next Tuesday in full! You can pre-order it here

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Richard Blanco Launches "Bridges to/from Cuba"

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco just launched Bridges to/from Cuba, a writing project intended to lift what he calls Cuba’s “emotional embargo.” He and his co-creator, Ruth Behar, were prompted by what they feel is a distorted image of Cuba that has emerged in the wake of the recent, historic d├ętente between the US and Cuba.
"I think what we want to do is broaden people's minds, both Cuban-Americans and Cubans on the island," Blanco said. "Giving them things to think about: How emotionally we move forward, and each other's responsibility to each other's stories and how we can merge those stories."
Blanco’s wonderful memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. It was recently chosen as Florida International University’s freshman common read. 
Click here to see a video of Richard speaking about growing up between cultures at the 2015 FYE annual conference

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ecco Publisher Dan Halpern Honored With the 2015 Maxwell E. Perkins Award

Dan Halpern, Publisher and President of Ecco, was just named the recipient of its 2015 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction—an award that recognizes an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the United States.
Dan is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Something Shining. For 25 years, Halpern edited the international literary magazine Antaeus, which he founded in Tangier with Paul Bowles. He has received many grants and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and taught at Columbia University, The New School, and Princeton University. In 1978, he founded The National Poetry Series with James A. Michener, which oversees the publication of five books of poetry every year.  
Among the authors he has worked with at both Ecco and Antaeus are Cormac McCarthyLouise GluckRichard FordAnthony BourdainJoyce Carol OatesAmy TanTom RobbinsJorie GrahamPhilipp MeyerLeonard Cohen, Lawrence Durrell, John FowlesRussell BanksRobert StonePatti SmithTobias WolffCharles SimicItalo CalvinoPaul Bowles, Pete Dexter, Gay TaleseErica JongVendela VidaT.C. BoyleJorge Luis BorgesJohn Ashbery, William Burroughs, William T. Vollmann, Tennessee Williams, Nell Freudenberger, Mark Strand, Natasha Trethewey, and many others.
Please join us in congratulating Dan on this much-deserved achievement!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

High School Summer Reading 2015

The school year is coming to an end, which is always an exciting time for us, because it means we start seeing high school summer reading lists popping up everywhere. 
As far as required reading goes, we tend to see classics like Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist,  and Thomas C. Foster’s How To Read Literature Like a Professor appear over and over again. Kingsolver and Patchett also remain constants in these programs, while Orphan Train continues to grow.
Popular titles from other houses include classics like The Things They Carried, Beloved, Of Mice and Men, The Catcher in the Rye, Flowers For Algernon, along with newer titles like The Glass Castle, I Am Malala, Outliers, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. 
Many of our titles also appear on lists where students must pick one or two books to read. Lists this year include the following:
Bel Canto, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Brave New World, Animal Dreams, A Land More Kind Than Home, A Plague of Doves, Fourth of July Creek, The Bell Jar, State of Wonder, Native Son, The Round House, A People’s History of the United States, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Flotsametrics, The Blue Death, The Bees, The First Phone Call From Heaven, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, Freakonomics, The Andromeda Strain, Manhunt, Orphan Train, Black Boy, The Story of Edward Sawtelle, and How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Below, I’ve listed just a few of the programs that are requiring students to read our books this summer:
Vistamar School, El Segundo, CA: Orphan Train
Niles North High School, Skokie, IL: Orphan Train
Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale, IL: Freakonomics, Shakespeare: The World as a Stage 
James Clemens High School, Madison, AL: How To Read Literature Like a Professor 
Christ Church Middle School , Greenville, SC: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Bob Jones High School, Madison, AL: Their Eyes Were Watching God, How To Read Literature Like a Professor
Solon High School, Solon, OH: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Poisonwood Bible
Walton High School, Marietta, GA: The Alchemist, Native Son, How To Read Literature Like a Professor, Brave New World, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Southwest Miami High School, Miami, FL: Their Eyes Were Watching God, How To Read Literature Like a Professor, To Kill a Mockingbird
Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Salt Lake City, UT: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Wando High School, Mount Pleasant, SC: How To Read Literature Like a Professor, A People’s History of the United States
Princeton Public Schools, Princeton, NJ: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Wesleyan School, Peachtree Corners, GA: Brave New World
Lower Marion School District, Ardmore, PA: The Bean Trees
Framingham High School, Framingham, MA: An American Childhood
West Boca Raton High School, Boca Ration, FL: The Alchemist
De La Salle High School, New Orleans, LA: The Alchemist, Brave New World
Leander Independent School District: How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Millbrook School, Millbrook, NY: A Prayer for Owen Meany
Northwest High School, Rockville, MD: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Notre Dame High School, Chattanooga, TN: The Poisonwood Bible
Dublin City Schools, Dublin, OH : And Then There Were None
Wilmington Christian School, Hockessin, DE: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Screwtape Letters
McCallie School, Cattanooga, TN: The Graveyard Book
Landrum High School, Campobello, SC: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle 
Lexington Catholic High School, Lexington, KY: The Alchemist, Eaters of the Dead
Lowell High School, San Francisco, CA: Bel Canto, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Cherry Creek High School, Englewood, CO: The Bean Trees
North Pocono High School, Covington Township, PA: Freakonomics
St. John School, Plaquemine, LA: Lost in Shangri-La, How to Read Novels Like a Professor
Oak Lawn High Schools, Oak Lawn, IL: Reading Like a Writer, How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Chattanooga Christian School, Chattanooga, TN: The Screwtape Letters
Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, CO: The Alchemist, Love Medicine, A People’s History of the United States

Loomis Chafee, Windsor, CT: Bel Canto

RIP William Zinsser, Author of ON WRITING WELL

HarperCollins author William Zinsser passed away on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan at the age of 92.

Zinsser is best known for his classic writing guide, On Writing Well, which stresses clarity, simplicity, and author voice. It has been a perennial classroom favorite since its original publication in 1976, selling over 1.5 million copies to date. 
In addition to On Writing Well, Zinsser wrote many other books, on everything from baseball to jazz, taught at Yale and the New School, was drama editor and movie critic for the New York Herald Tribune and executive editor of the Book-of-the-Month Club. 
Read his full New York Times obituary here
And you can check out the fully revised and expanded 30th anniversary edition of On Writing Well here