Sunday, March 06, 2011

What is Louise Dean reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Louise Dean, author of The Old Romantic.

Her entry begins:
I hesitate to say ‘writers’ because when writers write ‘writers’ maybe they ought to put‘people’, but in any case writers and people both think a great deal about ‘honesty’. And they think about it most keenly when starting out. They tend to think of it as an act of God or a natural disaster with life changing consequences, and certainly that’s got literary appeal, but as one gets older in life and in writing, I think you realize that honesty is more like the ill-willed sibling or sour stepmother who somehow improves you by showing you how shabby you are, repeatedly.

Anyhow, many writers kick off with dying as a plot device. I know I did. You imagine, you see, that people get ‘honest’ as they draw close to the veil. That’s why I gave my Belgian man pancreatic cancer and the chance to see ‘clearly’. Of course, Faulkner ennobled the idea in As I Lay Dying but there’s life in this classic young writer's plot device yet. And Paul Harding’s Tinkers bagged a Pulitzer with it. I started it a couple of weeks ago but...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Old Romantic:
"A highly entertaining vivid evocation of love and marriage in various forms... Dean's characters have the rough edges and surprising grace of real people, and her fierce humanism animates every page."
--New York Times Book Review

"Remarkably astute... Dean has perfect pitch [and] she sneaks in just enough grace to give her characters a chance to prove Thomas Wolfe wrong: As long as you don't expect anyone to get out the good china, you can go home again."
--Washington Post

"Vividly imagined and surprisingly funny...Call it sentimental if you like, but it's also sweet and genuine and universally true."
--The Associated Press

"Glorious hell breaks loose in the devilish, dauntingly talented hands of this award-winning writer"

"Tartly sweet ...Dean's acerbic affection for her characters and her social commentary are both spot-on and surprisingly poignant."
--Kirkus Reviews
Learn more about the book and author at the publisher's website and Louise Dean's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Old Romantic.

Writers Read: Louise Dean.

--Marshal Zeringue