OE Spotlight, George Saunders, and the Benefits of Human Engagement

February 21 2017

Last week was a big week for OE Spotlight. We held three events throughout the week which culminated, on Saturday, with a unique conversation with the illustrious George Saunders. In celebration of Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, he was joined by two other emerging writers, Thomas Pierce and David James Poissant.  Over 250 people gathered at Tampa Theatre to partake in this, hyperbolically enough, once in a lifetime...

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Joyfulness in Everything: A Conversation with George Saunders

February 15 2017

  George Saunders discusses how he finds hope and joy in writing, life, and death. He will be at Tampa Theatre this Saturday afternoon in conversation with Thomas Pierce and David James Poissant.    RSVP Now   Part One A Long and Melodramatic, Mostly Gratuitous Introduction (Unless you take interest in the interviewer's college girlfriend)      When I called George Saunders on the phone last week, I was supposed to ask...

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Kurt Vonnegut and a Comment on the Symbolism of Cat's Cradle

January 17 2017

  The first Kurt Vonnegut novel I read was Slaughterhouse Five. What I remember most about Billy Pilgrim’s strange journey was how reminiscent the novel was of a seemingly straight-laced science fiction story. Though at its core it’s an anti-war novel, which places the bombing of Dresden at the center. The rest, through thinly veiled metaphors, covers Billy Pilgrim’s disorientation after his time in the military, replete with questions on humanity, religion, and...

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Discovering Greatness: Some Brief Thoughts on Reading George Saunders for the First Time

January 10 2017

In preview of George Saunders' upcoming OE Spotlight event on Saturday February 18, three West and Grand writers recollect their encounters with his work.     RSVP Now   Mike Matesich I opened the door to my studio apartment and found the story on the floor. It was winter and the xeroxed sheets were spotted and damp where some snow had fallen. The pages were crimped from being worked through the door and...

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A Year in Review and the Year to Come

January 03 2017

  2016 has ended and on we go into the new year. This last year for some has been bewildering on many levels and for others less so. Whatever we make of it all, our personal interpretations stays just that, personal. Our independent readings can be either positive or negative, or more realistically, an incomprehensible mixture of the two. It relies entirely on the person. So the year has come and...

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An Exclusive Interview with Angela Palm

December 20 2016

We sat down with author Angela Palm ahead of her OE Spotlight event on Sunday, January 15 at 1:00pm. Here, she discusses the forever relevant artistic process, Salvador Dalí, and the position of Graywolf Press in the publishing landscape.    RSVP Now   Angela Palm: My earliest artistic interest and training was not in writing, but in watercolor painting. The influence of visual art has never released its hold on me....

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OE Book Club Revelations | Till We Have Faces

December 14 2016

  Last month, I faced what I believed to be an impossible task. We read my favorite book of all time for book club, and how could I do it justice? C.S. Lewis is a favorite author of mine, and Till We Have Faces is, bar none, the best book I've ever read. And yet, anything I say to explain it falls short. Even the word “favorite” does it a...

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