A roundup of what the Pubslush team has been digging into this week.
a beautiful mess by Ali Berlinski
(Debuted last Tuesday! Get your copy here!)
The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Happy Friday and happy reading!
Women on Wednesday—Jessica Soffer
What was the impetus or inspiration to write your story?
I wrote a story called “Pain” when I was in graduate school. It was the very staccato recounting of a woman’s life of pain from the time she was a young girl until she was an adult. The story’s protagonist was the character that became Lorca in my novel. I found her voice even in the story (which didn’t work for a whole slew of reasons) to be the most compelling I’d come across. I wanted to take her with me when I started writing something larger.
Too, I’ve always been deeply interested in loneliness, and in the measures we take to feel less alone, and to cope in the meantime. For me, that is in great part what APRICOTS is about. Finding ways out of one’s solitude, connecting, engaging, becoming all right.
How do you see writing as an empowering experience for yourself and other women?
Writing is a great expression of freedom, of the imagination, of voice. I can’t imagine anything being more empowering than finding one’s voice and letting it ring out. Think of all the things we can say, and in all the different ways, once we realize that we have the power to say them. Reading, for me, is empowering too. It engages us in a conversation about empathy, which allows us to better understand the world, others. That is immensely powerful: understanding. It’s everything.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to aspiring female authors?
Scratch what itches. Tell the story you want to tell, you must tell. It might take a long time—to come to it, to put it into words, and then to find for it a place in the world—but everything else is a waste of time. Editing is very different from self-censure, and an important distinction. Tell the story you must.
What was the publishing process like for you? How were you able to bring your book to life?
I wrote a short short that was published by Granta (http://www.granta.com/New-Writing/Beginning-End) just after I graduated from graduate school. By some stroke of luck, it got enough attention so that when I was ready to send out a manuscript, I already had contacts. Which didn’t mean it was easy. It just meant it was easier. My name carried the tiniest bit of weight. I did a whole bunch of revising with my agent, and then even more with my editor. I did a lot of revising, compared to some other writers I know. But what do I know? My manuscript was once a mess, aimless. I’m lucky to have found people who believed in it: sometimes more than I did. Usually more than I did.
If you had to describe yourself in three words only, what would they be?
Porous. Nostalgic. Mindful.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
Cuba. I’m nostalgic by nature, and Cuba is such a perfect illustration of that particular emotion. Of all the places: maybe the most so.
Tell us about Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.
It’s about a young girl, a pain addict, who is looking for friendship, the key to her mother’s happiness and a recipe. And an old woman, an 85-year-old Iraqi Jewish widow who is looking for friendship too, and the daughter she gave up for adoption fifty years before and the key to her own happiness. They find each other. It is as much about sadness as it is about what happiness after sadness. Sadness and then.
Your Next Summer Read is Here!
Introducing a beautiful mess by Ali Berlinski
Pubslush Press’s debut title is here!
Order your copy today!
Be one of the first to own the first book to ever be published by a crowdfunding platform. Your friends will be so jealous.
Ali Berlinski bravely walks readers through a compilation of short stories starring her own family and the result is a narrative that’s partmemoir, part survival guide, and part love story. With divorced parents split between two coasts, a nanny-turned-stepmom, finding love, losing it, and beginning all over again, Berlinski navigates the mayhem of her life with a sense of humor that will have you laughing and wanting more.
Don’t forget, for every book sold, a children’s book is donated to a child in need. You get anawesome summer read and you’ll feel goodabout it. Win-win.
Here’s an inside look at what the Pubslush team has been reading this week. A lot of great books to add to your reading list if you’ve missed out on any of these!
Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
“It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.” - Behind the Beautiful Forevers
He Never Liked Cake by Janna Leyde (A Pubslush author! Woot!)
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
“When shit brings you down, just say ‘fuck it’, and eat yourself some motherfucking candy.” - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Night Games by Arthur Schnitzler
Happy Friday and happy reading!
5 Great Facebook Pages for Book Lovers
Social media: a brilliant place for keeping in touch with friends, posting pictures of cats, and book discussions. Facebook is filled with countless pages for readers and writers, but which ones are worth following? Here are the best five pages on Facebook for all you book lovers out there that connect you with countless people reading the same books, and sharing their views from the comfort of a fuzzy pink bathrobe.
Friday Reads is one of the best book recommendation pages on Facebook. Continuously asking readers what their favorite books are and what they’re currently reading gives you a huge variety of great books to choose from by readers and the moderators of this page. You’ll have endless books to choose from just by reading their updates for a few days.
NPR Books uses their Facebook page to post new books coming out, interesting facts about classic authors, and news on books and reading today. NPR keeps you up to date on all the new books coming out that are definitely worth reading.You get your daily dose of both news and intellectual posts to really make you think.
Shelf Awareness A great source of book humor. You’ll easily spend hours reading the links and memes posted while you appreciate their literary references. Connect to other book lovers, read great literary quotes posted daily, and hear about all things happening in the literary world.
The Millions is a perfect place to connect with countless other readers and writers to talk about every book imaginable. This page is a haven for book lovers of all kinds with recommendations for every genre, and great literary memes to feed your love of reading.
The Goodreads Facebook page is filled with book suggestions, links to books and authors, and daily updates on your favorite writers! Get a quick book recommendation on their page along with a quirky fact about today’s date in literary history.