Friday, September 15, 2006

Janet Fitch's book list

Janet Fitch is the author of the 1999 best-seller White Oleander.

Her second novel, Paint It Black, will be published this week.
"Paint It Black [is] a passionate novel," Alden Mudge discovered in an interview, "that Fitch likens to Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher—not because it follows Poe's storyline in any way but because it concerns itself, in part, with the internal corruption and destruction of a prominent musical family, and because the novel does cast a Poe-like shadowy spell."
Click here to read an excerpt from Paint It Black.

She picked six books for The Week magazine. Here are three of them:
Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

All the prodigious imagination and stylistic bravura of Joyce Carol Oates comes to bear upon the often-told but little-examined mythic life of Marilyn Monroe, with breathtaking results. This is my favorite JCO since the great short story collections of the ’60s and early ’70s—Upon the Sweeping Flood, By the North Gate, Marriages and Infidelities, and The Wheel of Love.

The Memory Room
by Mary Rakow

A hugely talented stylist builds a novel from musically related fragments, with echoes and refrains. The work, which centers on a woman grappling with the primal knowledge of evil in our mundane world, gains its power through the gradual accumulation of these tiny, shimmering fragments.

Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion

The radioactive lives of late-’60s showbiz Angelenos play themselves out in minimalist gritty chapters that can punch you in the face with a single line. Nobody writes a dialogue scene like Didion.
To read about Fitch's other picks, click here.
To read or listen to an excerpt from Blonde, click here.
Click here to read an excerpt adapted from Mary Rakow's The Memory Room.

--Marshal Zeringue