Thursday, October 04, 2007

What is Elise Blackwell reading?

The latest contributor to Writers Read: Elise Blackwell, author of The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, Hunger, and a new novel, Grub.

About the book, from the publisher:

A long overdue retelling of New Grub Street — George Gissing’s classic satire of the Victorian literary marketplace — Grub chronicles the triumphs and humiliations of a group of young novelists living in and around New York City.

Eddie Renfros, on the brink of failure after his critically acclaimed first book, wants only to publish another novel and hang on to his beautiful wife, Amanda, who has her own literary ambitions and a bit of a roving eye. Among their circle are writers of every stripe — from the Machiavellian Jackson Miller to the ‘experimental writer’ Henry who lives in squalor while seeking the perfect sentence. Amid an assortment of scheming agents, editors, and hangers-on, each writer must negotiate the often competing demands of success and integrity, all while grappling with inner demons and the stabs of professional and personal jealousy. The question that nags at them is this: What is it to write a novel in the twenty-first century? Pointedly funny and compassionate, Grub reveals what the publishing industry does to writers — and what writers do to themselves for the sake of art and to each other in the pursuit of celebrity.

Read an excerpt from Grub.

Writers Read: Elise Blackwell.

--Marshal Zeringue