And the Winner Is… Book Giveaway Part 3

We have a winner! JoAnne Ruvoli is an avid reader and a huge fan of short fiction (see, publishing world? These people are out there!) and also very clever. She got 9 out of 9 right, proving that the test, while by no means easy, was not impossible.

So without further ado, original quotes first, then their answers:

 

 

 

 

  1. “The others present, including the landlord, he regarded with the boredom of long habit and with a shade of lofty disdain, as if he considered them too much his inferiors in rank and education to speak to.”

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  1. “Way up beyond the white pines, out of sight, was the open, hilly land full of bristly mosses, ground birds, deer, and wild turkeys, even.”

AMERICAN SALVAGE by Bonnie Jo Campbell

  1. “Pulses were beating in his eyes, veiling their sight, and he felt the fever of his cheeks.”

ULYSSES by James Joyce

  1. “The flowers came up to his waist.”

CARAVAN THIEVES by Gerard Woodward

  1. “Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered ‘Listen,’ a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.”

THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  1. “Ran away.”

STORM WARNING by Vanessa Gebbie

  1. “I shake my head quite a lot.”

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by JD Salinger

  1. “I had planted them too far down in the earth.”

THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison

  1. “After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store.”

BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

Well done, JoAnne; congratulations! JoAnne will receive an autographed copy of THE TEMPLE OF AIR (I know, shameless, right?) for her fine and astute work. Thanks to all who attempted to find the answers. And thanks again for reading!

YOU ALREADY MAY HAVE WON! ~ Book Giveaway

My book, The Temple of Air, is slated to be launched at Women and Children First on September 9, 2011. I thought I’d share my excitement with you by putting together a little contest to honor this occasion. The prize? An autographed copy of The Temple of Air. (Hey, it’s my blog after all!)

Below is a compilation of the ninth full sentences on the ninth page of the editions that I have on my shelves of nine books. That sounds more complicated than it needs to be. Let me try again: 9/9. Ninth full sentence on page nine. (Also, in case you didn’t make the connection, the date of my book launch.)

Your challenge:

  • In the order I have the quotes below, name each book by its full title.
  • Provide each author’s full name in the same order.
  • Submit your response by 6 PM CST, August 4, 2011 to templeofair@gmail.com.
  • Post this in your response: “I agree to let Patricia Ann McNair use my name and any part of my answers in her blog.”
  • The first completely correct response (all books, all titles, all authors) will receive The Temple of Air.
  • Answers received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • No one I am married to or who shares my last name can participate in this challenge.
  • In the case of a tie—well, I’ll deal with that if it comes up.
  • If no one has all the correct answers, I will consider awarding the participant who comes the closest. So even if you don’t know for certain, guesses may serve you well.
  • And yes, editions do vary. As I said, I am using the ones I have on my shelf. And page 9 means the page with a “9” on it. Not a Roman numeral. Don’t make it any harder than it needs to be. I am not trying to trick you.
  • Make sure I have a way to contact you (email is best) so that I can let you know if you are the lucky winner.

Cool? Cool.

Here goes:

  1. “The others present, including the landlord, he regarded with the boredom of long habit and with a shade of lofty disdain, as if he considered them too much his inferiors in rank and education to speak to.”
  2. “Way up beyond the white pines, out of sight, was the open, hilly land full of bristly mosses, ground birds, deer, and wild turkeys, even.”
  3. “Pulses were beating in his eyes, veiling their sight, and he felt the fever of his cheeks.”
  4. “The flowers came up to his waist.”
  5. “Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered “Listen,” a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.”
  6. “Ran away.”
  7. “I shake my head quite a lot.”
  8. “I had planted them too far down in the earth.”
  9. “After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store.”

Some hints:

All fiction.

Published: 1866, 2009, 1934 (1922 UK), 2009, 1925, 2010, 1951, 1970, 1932

Man, woman, man, man, man, woman, man, woman, man

Some authors quoted from here may have written for this blog.

Novel, collection, novel, collection, novel, collection, novel, novel, novel

And more hints because I’ve been told the quiz is too hard ~ some words from some of these book titles in no particular order: Great·American·In·Crime·Brave·Thieves·Eye·Storm

The rest is up to you. Looking forward to reading your answers.

A Place on the Shelf ~ On Personal Libraries and a Civil Union

We were at a party on Saturday, celebrating the civil union of two friends, Kathie and Nikki, (congratulations, you two!) and wandering around their lovely condo, checking things out. As you do. These women are well-educated, highly accomplished, world-loving, and talented, so you can imagine the cool things they had in their pad. Real art. A classy pot rack hovering over their kitchen island. Two offices with good computers and comfortable chairs. Cat toys. A huge map of Paris over their guest futon. And books. No surprise here. I know Kathie better than I do Nikki, and I know she is a writer herself (Windy City Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast, ed. Kathie Bergquist) and teaches writing and does publicity for the very wonderful Women and Children First, and I know she loves to cook. So a bookcase in the dining room stuffed with luscious-looking cookbooks. Shelves everywhere else stuffed with everything else. And I don’t know if it is Kathie or Nikki who is the conscientious one, the organized one (can there be two of these in any relationship?) but the books on the shelves are alphabetized by author. Probably Kathie, come to think of it, all of that early bookstore training.

I have always admired folks who keep their books in such good order. It is beyond me. I pull my books out of their spots, put new ones in there, stack them perilously on the bedside table, shove extras on top of the not-quite-neat rows. Okay, there is some organization among our books. The small Shakespeare Penguin Classics all on the same shelf. The travel books are all on the same bookcase—except for the overflow and the ones I have yanked out recently in order to consider our upcoming trip to Utah, our plans for Philip’s birthday-of-significance trip (any suggestions? We’re thinking Spain, maybe, where we went for his 40th, my 50th. Or maybe somewhere closer and warm. South Beach? Key West? Kathie’s map of Paris made us yearn for that city.) The cookbooks are in the kitchen (although we rarely use these anymore. Note to self: have more dinner parties.) I can’t tell you the wasted minutes I spend hunting for the book I thought I was looking for: My Brother Running, American Salvage, American Skin, Tender is the Night, Symptoms and Early Warning Signs (I’m a bit of a hypochondriac.) But the upside of this is all of the titles I find that I’d forgotten about. The happy discoveries. A script from high school: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. A pocket-sized Spanish dictionary. A Kenyon Review from 1988. Hard Candy.

But this isn’t about my books. It is about my book. Singular. The forthcoming collection The Temple of Air. My debut. If you have read this website at all (and pardon my arrogance for assuming you might have) you know that I have my first book of short stories coming out in September. And this post is really about that. The book. And finding the book on Kathie’s shelf. Among all those others.

Okay, this is no real surprise. I gave Kathie an advance readers’ copy when we began sharing ideas about my having the book launch at Women and Children First. So unless she threw it away (and I can’t imagine Kathie being the sort of person who would do such a blasphemous thing to a book) The Temple of Air would, in all likelihood, be on her shelf. Still. This is the first time that I have come across my book on someone else’s bookshelf. In its rightful alphabetic place, shelved next to John McNally’s Troublemakers. (Sorry I can’t recall now who was to my left; I was very pleased to be rubbing covers with Mr. McNally.)

And this caused me great joy. Delight. I felt like a real writer, my book in the library of a pair of real readers. I can only imagine how very good it will feel when I see my book on the shelves of bookstores! But perhaps this is better. Someone owns this book. It is not waiting to be bought or returned. It has found a home. Among its kind. Books someone cares about.

And speaking of this caring about thing—I think this discovery of my book in the home of Kathie and Nikki was made all the more special because I found it on a day of celebration. A day when there was a whole lot of love in their condo, all directed at the happy couple. And what better place for my book to be than in a home filled with love, good food, smart conversation, dreams and stories, and words that matter. Words like “Civil Union.” Like “I do.” Like “Once Upon a Time,” and like “Happily Ever After.”

Happy new home, Book. Happy new life, Kathie and Nikki.

“The Bones of the Book Glimmer…” ~ A Review from TNB

I have just found out that The Temple of Air was reviewed in The Nervous Breakdown. Such a stellar review. So thoughtful and positive. A great way to have my review cherry popped.

Here’s a snippet of what the reviewer, Leah Tallon, wrote: “The bones of the book glimmer in the spirit of Winesburg, Ohio. McNair’s sentences are free flowing and emotionally charged, electric power lines running straight to your brain. Each word is honest and relatable.”

Not bad, eh?

I would encourage you to read the review in its entirety if you are willing, and I also remind you that while the book will be officially launched at Women and Children First in Chicago on September 9, 2011, advanced orders are being taken at Elephant Rock Books.

 

 

 

Since we’ve started this conversation…

Our short story conversationalists have had a few rather lovely things happen in their writing lives since we started chatting about writing. Dennis McFadden, up next with his response to the question “Is the short story a training ground for the novel?” has had “Diamond Alley,” one of his stories from Hart’s Grove, chosen for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories of 2011; Gerard Woodward’s short story, “The Family Whistle,” has moved from the long list to the short list for the very lucrative Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2011 (site has a cool little video with judges comments on what makes a short story great); Gina Frangellos collection Slut Lullabies has been named a finalist in ForeWords Book of the Year Awards; Vanessa Gebbie’s collection Words from a Glass Bubble was selected by Booktrust as one of “Ten Collections to Celebrate the Strength of British Short Story Writers;” and me? Well, no big prizes or short lists (if I say “yet” here will that screw with my karma?) but the first offering of The Temple of Air, the Story Week Limited Release, sold out before the end of the festival and I have been signing books for friends and new readers alike–a very humbling and exciting experience.

So these writers who are giving so generously of their time to fill the pages of this blog with their thoughts on the short story are the real deal, folks. I hope you enjoy what they have to say on the subject. And do feel free to join in on the conversation. Maybe their magic will rub off on you just a little. Or maybe yours will rub off on them (us.)

Oh, and you probably figured this out, but the lovely image above is by Pablo Picasso. The man whom we named our cat after. We call him Pabs, usually. He has a brother named Enrique (Reeks.)

Reading, by the way, exhausts him.

Limited Copies of The Temple of Air Available at Story Week Festival of Writers

So one of the groovy things about working with a small, independent press like Elephant Rock Books is that you get a lot of hands-on experience. Here my hands are on a few advance copies of The Temple of Air. I got to pick up the order of event copies for Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department’s Story Week Festival of Writers to ensure that they arrived in time for the festival. And then I had to drink a glass of fermented beverage with my dear husband, the wonderful Philip Hartigan, in a congratulatory toast.

It’s real friends. Real. Cool.

Oh, and here’s me toasting the girl on the cover. And no, my male friends, I do not know who she is. Funny how whenever I show the cover to a man, they say “Who’s the babe?” And when I show it to a woman, they say, “Great cover!” (It is, by the way. Thanks Melissa C. Lucar. Thanks, too, Lee Nagan. You know why.)

So there it is. My book. I don’t know what else to say. Oh, wait, I do. Read it if you can. I’d appreciate it. So would my publisher. Especially if you bought a copy.

Okay, I’ll stop writing now. (Not forever, just for this blog post.)

Just a Taste

Elephant Rock Books just put a little taste of The Temple of Air on the books page of their website. Read a bit of “Something Like Faith.” Why not? You are already on the internet; you are already reading stuff. Try this. Go ahead.