Monday, September 6, 2010

The Catalogue and South of Broad

At first I resented South of Broad for not being Beach Music.  I missed the town, the time, and the characters in all their peculiar, finely drawn specifics.  But then I surrendered.  I find I have to do that when I really fall for an author and want to read everything he or she has written.  I have to let go of one storied trajectory and put my faith in another.

Sometimes it does not work and the magic of one book is too binding to allow transgression into another written in a near but not congruent voice.  Sometimes the reader/author love affair requires a long break so that the soft focus process of erosion can set in.  In this case it was a leap from lily pad to lily pad and the resentment was fierce.  But then I tasted South of Broad's own brand of homemade magic elixir.  It is majestic: marvelous and whole and consuming.  It asks question of friendship and how your history is held in public trust by those who were there and who love you.  It explores the completeness of lots thrown in together when you are very young.

In other news: bang, it arrived on my doorstep.  Touchstone (now just Touchstone with a lovely new angel winged, reaching firefly sort of insignia and no longer Touchstone Fireside) Spring 2011 Catalogue.  I opened the first page first page is for the Black Eyed Peas singer.  The one with the name I can never remember.  The second page is for Exit the Actress.  Nell landed up on page two!  I am thrilled.  It is getting realer and realer.


  1. Yea! Exit the Actress is real! On Pat Conroy, he lives nearby and is a fierce advocate for the traditions and environment of the Lowcountry. I really need to immerse myself in some Conroy (as soon as I get caught up on all my other work and reading commitments!)...

  2. (Her name is Fergie - Sarah Ferguson, I think...?!)

    Priya, I know just what you mean about the difficulty of letting go of some books to make way for the next one - I think that disgruntled, discombobulated feeling must be even more common when both books are by the same author. Your post makes me think I ought to resist my own habit of author glut. I did it with Hilary Mantel until I was inevitably disappointed, and now I think I may have brought the disappointment on myself. Still, giving in to author glut is what led me to write a PhD on DeLillo, and maybe I never would have gone down that road had his books not taken over my reading life like that... hmmm...

    Anyway, FANTASTIC news about the catalogue! Page 2 Girl!!

  3. lisa, how wonderful that he lives nearby! the low country is like a character in the novels. how fantastic to be able to read them in that setting!

    doctordi, hello! wow, your doctorate was on delillo? so impressive! i cannot imagine confining myself to the scope of one author for a doctorate. mine spanned four centuries as i would get itchy feet and go wandering off. it must bring such a finely focused lens to the analysis.
    i absolutely get obsessed with an author and read through a body of work. bad habit. must stop.
    am thrilled about the catalogue!

  4. So glad you dropped by my blog. This is lovely here. It has an aura of tranquility that I like. Best to you with your upcoming novel. How exciting. I believe you are living my dream life, excuse me how did you get my dream? Plus you're gorgeous. That was my dream too. Oh well. C'est la vie. I look forward to hearing more about Exit the Actress :)

  5. Hello! I am the same way, getting obsessed over one author and reading through everything they've written. It's a bad habit of mine, too. It's hard to break free and find another author that I hope will live up to the standards of the previous one, but I usually do.

    You have a wonderful blog. I look forward to reading more! Is your book out yet?

    And, thank you for passing through mine. I'm from Oahu, born and partly raised. I'm the product of a military family... my mom and all her family are still there so I get to visit every year. Kauai is so laid back and lovely, but very quiet. The North Shore is amazing. I love it there! I can see how it would be the perfect place for writing a book. Plus, they have some of the best eateries on the island!

  6. Congrats! It's real and it's only going to get better :)

  7. See, I find traversing four centuries in one thesis impressive... I don't know how you were able to impose order across such a vast period. I would have sprung leaks all down the line. Well, I did have to time travel a little bit. I was examining the narrative operations of adultery in his work, and, you know, it's kind of a dominant trope... Lots and lots of naughty characters getting busy beyond the gate!

  8. I loved Beach Music but haven't tried South of Broad yet. Your post was a good reminder that I love Pat Conroy's stuff and should get back in the habit of reading him.

    I can only imagine (and dream) what it must be like to see your book in a catalog. Congratulations!

  9. I can't imagine how excited you are to see your book and name in the catalog. Congratulations!

    It's always so sad when you love an author and a book (or part of a book) doesn't live up to your expectations.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. karen g, you literary bbq was wonderful! i am so happy you popped by!

    michelle, i love the north shore too. as for the eateries they are much better if you are not a vegetarian!

    aisle b, thank you!

    doctordi, i sort of skipped literary, theatrical stones through four centuries--not a brilliant idea for a doctorate but wonderful now that i need the research for novel writing!

    jenna wallace, south of broad was brilliant! i just finished.

    mari, i am so pleased about the catalogue. it is utterly, utterly surreal! have a wonderful weekend!


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