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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Quivering Pen: My First Time: Edie Meidav

The Quivering Pen: My First Time: Edie Meidav: My First Time is a regular feature in which writers talk about virgin experiences in their writing and publishing careers, ranging from...

Friday, August 12, 2011

A free Lola for you

For you who might be mildly strapped among the Internet chorus of angels, and who is not an angel, and who is not mildly strapped, a free book. Yes, a Lola:


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Parade of Devastating Beauty


Must-Read Novels
Great new novels: hippie California

A Parade of Cures: The Devastating Beauty of Lola, California

‘Lola, California’ By Edie Meidav. 448 pages. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Edie Meidav's Lola, California is titled after the name two girls, Lana and Rose, give themselves. They stole their name from the identity-bending hit by The Kinks (Lana is Lola One, Rose Lola Two). The Lolas shared a thick, impenetrable friendship, and Meidav captures exactly the sweetness of girlhood co-dependency (think Heavenly Creatures, but healthier).

This gorgeous, audacious novel goes far beyond a story of two girls, though. Lana and Rose grew up in Berkeley, California in the 1980s, and the book is as much about that town and the millennial Northern California zeitgeist as any character. Meidav is harrowingly precise in her descriptions of the place, where the eucalyptus “smelled like both cat pee and colonialism” and the men “focused on outwitting actuarial odds by their faithfulness to California protocols: ease, cheekbones, the low glycemic index of their diet, fire trail hikes, cardiovascular gestures, wealth, Tuscan vegetables, phytonutrients, heart-benefiting, and cancer-fighting volunteerism, the kind who into their fifties remain manboys, pursuing life-risking activities without ever wiping off that constant smile. If misfortune happens to such men, a hemorrhaging bank account or loss of an actual limb, such men call it process or a learning experience, ready to die before admitting failure, failure bad as a hairweave, a condition practically requiring surrender of the state’s driving license.”

Yes, that sentence is long. Meidav’s prose is writerly: exact yet maximalist, prodigiously lyrical. Together with the novel’s jump-cut structure and length, Meidav asks her readers to slow down. The opposite of a page turner in the best way, the novel prompts us to linger, re-read, flip back, and figure the damned thing out.

But don’t worry: Lola, California is no modernist convolution. Meidav offers more than pretty sentences. This book has plot in spades . . . (to read more, go to the link above)

At the days tick down towards Mahler’s execution, Vic terminally ill, and everyone faces more choice: stay or go? . . . Lola, California is a startling novel, as prodigiously smart as it is technically proficient. Her characters may be narcissistic zeligs, but Meidav is an American original.

—Anne Trubek, author of A Skeptic's Guide To Writers' Houses

Anne Trubek is the author of A Skeptic's Guide To Writers' Houses.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


What is it about collaboration that is such a joy? Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing Brielle Korn (of the band Fortune Baby), dancer Amii Legendre (of her own multivalent choreographic productions), and Kevin Salem (once of Dumptruck, now also in music with/for himself) perform as part of a reading in Woodstock, last Hudson Vally reading until, perhaps, the same line-up comes out September 10th for a reading on Poet's Walk as part of some visionary Scenic Hudson enterprise.
I remember years ago seeing Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, play accordion in relation to some reading in San Francisco and I got it: ah, the reading as a kind of cabinet of curiosities, presenting delights for the senses, rather than a kind of staid Author-Audience relation with that hyphen forever calcified.
So to those of you who have come or will come, thank you for helping me erode that hyphen.
Sending you good thoughts from the traveling part of the "book tour". I must put quotation marks around that. I must. (Cf. the movie Already Famous for what I consider a real tour.)
To your happy day,

PS For you who may be in Seattle, or know others who might be, Wednesday night at 7 pm I'm reading/conversing at Elliott Bay in Seattle at 7 pm. (206) 624-6600, 1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle WA 98122; for personalized copies: orders@elliottbaybook.com

PPS Last summer dates: 7/23 in Mendocino's The Gallery w/Beth Lisick; 7/28 in Berkeley's Mrs. Dalloway's with party feeling; 7/30 in Gualala's 4-Eyed Frog with coastal feeling; 8/4 in San Francisco's Book Passage with Oscar Villalon's interlocution; 8/5 in Montclair, CA with the brilliant Carolyn Cooke. Come run some intervention.

Thursday, July 14, 2011