Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Michelle at Galleysmith hosts the Literary Road Trip where book bloggers volunteer to showcase local authors. Each blogger takes a state/city/country and posts reviews, interviews etc with authors from that locale. There are still many states with no representation - if you would like to join in, head over to this page and sign-up. Even if you don't sign-up as a "stop" on the trip - definitely check-in on some of the stops to see which authors are being spotlighted!
I live (and was raised in) NYC so, to be honest, I have it pretty easy in terms of identifying authors for the Road Trip. There are a bevy of authors from or currently living in NYC. I will try, however, to shine a light on those that may be lesser known. If you are an author from NYC (or the publisher of a NYC author), I would love to spotlight you on my literary road trip stop so please contact me (leenbeen2001 (at) yahoo (dot) com).
Without further ado, my first spotlight is Spoiled: Stories by Caitlin Macy. Macy is a graduate of Yale and received her MFA from Columbia. She currently lives in NYC with her family. You can read more about her and her first book, The Fundamentals of Play: A Novel, at her website.
From the Publisher:
Caitlin Macy’s debut novel The Fundamentals of Play was heralded as a Gatsbyesque examination of love and class in Manhattan. Now, in her sophisticated and provocative story collection Spoiled, Macy turns her unsparing eye on affluent and educated women who nevertheless struggle to keep their footing in their relationships and life.
In “Annabel’s Mother,” a young woman does a good deed for her nanny, only to have it go horribly wrong. “Bait and Switch” chronicles a lifelong rivalry between two sisters. A self-made woman struggles to gain the upper hand with her comically self-assured cleaning woman in “The Red Coat.” And in “Taroudant,” a newly married woman desperate for authentic experience makes a rash decision to leave the grounds of her Moroccan luxury hotel.
Macy’s voice is as straightforward as it is original in these stories, and her characters deftly nuanced. Full of surprising, sometimes shocking insights and simmering with outrage, compassion, and humor, Spoiled is a remarkable collection from a boldly talented writer.
I read Spoiled a number of months ago for a book club - although there were stories in the collection that left me flat, overall the collection was very good. Each story had a message and prompted you to stop and think. The author, Caitlin Macy, actually attended our book club and had a great discussion with the group about her motivation for different stories, writing process and background. The discussion really added a lot of color to the stories and made me appreciate them even more.
This collection of short stories provides an insightful look at those in society who are "privileged" - no matter how recently that privilege was acquired. Caitlin Macy observantly explores issues of class and how it motivates us in this concise collection of stories. As much as you may not want to, I think most readers will recognize themselves in at least one of the characters. Worthwhile read!