The Books of My Numberless Dreams

Two things

Posted on: March 4, 2008

It’s Small Press Month! In the USA, at any rate, but I’m not aware of a similar Canadian celebration so I’ll co-opt this one. I am only giving much of a hoot because Dan Pritch’s announcement coincided with my reading of another devastating Andre Dubus story collection (excerpt in previous post) published by David R. Godine, with which Mr. Pritch is associated. So why not take a look at the shelves and see which small press books were patiently waiting for me?

NYRB Classics may technically be an imprint rather than a press but I’m going to ignore that because it’s my blog. I may march on with Gallant for a story or two more but if it doesn’t make me pause for several minutes the way the Andre Dubus did I’ll probably switch to Tropic Moon by Simenon.

Other possible choices:

How I Became a Nun –  Cesar Aira, translated by Chris Andrews

New Directions

Bad Imaginings  –  Caroline Adderson and/or Walking in ParadiseLibby Creelman

I heard about Porcupine’s Quill from Nigel Beale‘s interview with John Metcalf. I’m interested to see whether the editor’s boast about the quality of the press’ fiction will bear out.

The Wizard Swami –  Cyril Dabydeen

One of my Peepal Tree Press books.

And I have a few other stuff by Graywolf, New Directions and Serpent’s Tail. I’ll see how it goes.

*****

Readers, it’s a miracle. Sarah Hall managed to impress me with her latest novel. She’s not a genius, it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s actually asking some interesting questions here. It’s engaging! and not populated with drunken metaphors and promiscuous adjectives. I wasn’t at all impressed with the dystopian elements at all, but once she left all that description work behind and focused on the feminist community living out in the boonies, well, things picked up. I appreciated the situation the dystopian elements created but am too used to the global warming – oppressive police force – mindless drone work etc. scenario to be even mildly shocked.

I’m kinda interested in her first novel. Maybe Electric Michelangelo was just a phase.

5 Responses to "Two things"

That explains why there was a small press display at Barnes and Noble last time I went!

We have some remarkable small local presses in the UK but they all suffer from the same problem. If they publish a book that has real success they then don’t have the capacity to handle the writer’s next book. Here in Birmingham we have one such company, Tindal Street Press. Not only is it a small unit struggling to keep going, but it is also in an area of the City that is desperately in need of a boost to self-esteem and work force. Three or four years ago they published Clare Morrall’s book, ‘Astonishing Splashes of Colour’ which was shortlisted for the Booker. Morrall had to find another publisher for her second book. Now they have published Catherine O’Flynn’s Costa First Book Winner, ‘What Was Lost’ and the came thing is likely to happen again. It is such a shame that there isn’t the means available to help these small publishers build on their success.

[…] US at at the moment it is Small Press Month (I learn this via the excellent Canadian blog, Imani’s The Books of My Numberless Dreams). Small Press Month, now in its 12th year, is a nationwide promotion highlighting the valuable work […]

Hooray for small presses! And thank you for featuring some here. Hope you like the ones you’ve picked out.

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