Web Series: Whatcha Reading, Allison Amend?
June 6, 2011 by Ron.Hogan
“Whatcha Reading?” is a web series from Ron Hogan in which authors recommend a great book.
Allison Amend’s multigenerational saga about Jewish settlers in the 19th-century American West began with a short story published in One Story in 2002. After receiving encouragement from friends, Amend told an interviewer, she continued to write about the Haurowitz family’s experiences in Oklahoma, and the short story soon became a novel. After a bumpy path to publication, including the death of an editor who’d expressed interest in the book, Stations West was published in the spring of 2010 by Louisiana State University Press. It was recently a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, awarded annually to emerging literary talents whose work addresses themes of Jewish interest.
In recommending Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, Amend mentions that one of the chapters is written in PowerPoint. Egan described that chapter’s evolution in a recent interview with Shelf Awareness: “Once I finally had the hang of it, I finally understand why I had wanted to work in PowerPoint so much,” she said. ”It is a sort of microcosm of the way Goon Squad works as a whole, which is these vivid moments with big gaps in between, each one different from all the others. The book is so much about pauses, and somehow writing this chapter let me figure out those pauses.”
Watch the first in the series: Watch Reading, Helon Habila?
About The Author:
Ron Hogan helped create the literary Internet by launching Beatrice.com in 1995. His most recent book is Getting Right with Tao, a print edition of his popular online “translation” of the Tao Te Ching into modern vernacular. He is also the author of The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane, a visual tribute to ’70s Hollywood, and a contributor to the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning and the critical anthology Secrets of the Lost Symbol. Ron Hogan is a member of the inReads Advisory Board.