Thursday, July 23, 2009

What is Maile Meloy reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Maile Meloy, author of the acclaimed new short story collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.

Her entry begins:
I just finished The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman. It’s the fourth and last of the Sally Lockhart mysteries, all set in the 19th century with a plucky heroine who falls into the detective business. They’re as wonderful as Pullman’s His Dark Materials, with history (exciting, fascinating history) in place of magic. When I was a kid, I read all of the Trixie Belden mysteries, to my grandmother’s dismay—she thought I should be reading something more edifying—and I loved them. I hadn’t read many mysteries since, so I think Sally Lockhart has answered a deep, forgotten need.

In the first book....[read on]
Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection Half in Love, and the novels Liars and Saints, shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize, and A Family Daughter. Meloy’s stories have been published in The New Yorker, and she has received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2007, she was chosen as one of Granta’s Best American Novelists under 35.

Among the early praise for Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It:
“Though it might seem strange to praise a writer for the things she doesn’t do, what really sets Meloy apart is her restraint. She is impressively concise, disciplined in length and scope. And she’s balanced in her approach to character, neither blinded by love for her creations, nor abusive toward them.... She’s such a talented and unpredictable writer that I’m officially joining her fan club; whatever she writes next, I’ll gladly read it.”
—Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times Book Review
Visit Maile Meloy's website.

Writers Read: Maile Meloy (March 2008).

The Page 99 Test: A Family Daughter.

Writers Read: Maile Meloy.

--Marshal Zeringue