Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Literary Road Trip pulls into NYC

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.

My Review:

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!


  1. Good to hear about the Literary Road Trip. It’s a great idea. Maybe I’ll participate the next time I review a Maine author. I also grew up in NYC. It is a literary mecca.

    I agree with your review of Spoiled except I didn’t identify with the characters – I guess I’ve been out of the city too long. Those characters did remind me of some people I knew, though. How much fun to have the author visit your book club! That is definitely an advantage of living in NYC.

    In the post below, it’s good to hear that you are expanding your reading horizon to YA. There’s a lot of good new talent there and some authors crossover well to adults.

    I’m really impressed by the quality of your blog, especially since you are so new to blogging. I love the title -funny. I shall look forward to reading more. It’s so nice to connect with you!

  2. Sarah - thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I really enjoyed and appreciated your post on Blogging 101. You kind words about the quality of my blog mean a lot.

    Definitely join in on the Literary Road Trip if you get the chance - I am sure you could introduce us to a great author from Maine!

    thanks again!

  3. Just wanted to drop by and thank you for commenting at my blog, Starting Fresh. It's my first time here and I love your blog's clean uncluttered look.

    I hadn't heard of Caitlin Macy before and her book sounds interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks!

  4. I haven't read this book, but it sounds great. I don't often read short stories and it is someting that I want to do more of. It was really cool to hear that the author came to your book club, that must have been amazing. I am not a member of a book club but I would love to join one one day.

  5. Thank you for sharing a great book with everyone on the Literary Road Trip. :)

  6. Becky - thanks for stopping by. Over time, I find I am appreciating short stories more and more - when they are well done, I can enjoy them more than novels.

    Gaby - hello to a fellow NY'er and thanks for stopping by!

  7. Is it wrong that I think the cover is adorable?

  8. JuJu - Nope! Covers often make the book for me!

  9. I found you on bookblogs and love your blog! Thank you for sharing about the Literary Road Trip! I signed up to represent Georgia and can't wait to get started.

    you can find me at

  10. Stacy - thanks for your kind words about my blog! I am glad you are signed up for the Literary Road Trip.

    BTW - I checked out your blog and look forward to following your plans for the Indie bookstore!