Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.

--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pen Parentis and more

Photo by Lawrence DeVoe for Pen Parentis at the Hotel Andaz

Frolics in the city: Pen Parentis reading

Still having problems with my eye, as well as my throat (laryngitis, again), I took it easy. Let's see; we need to see and to have a voice for a reading? I was whiskey-voiced, but that worked.  It was great fun to read with Lev Grossman and Kelly Link--they're both funny, interested people. And I had a good time seeing friends from the past and meeting new people at Pen Parentis, located at the Hotel Andaz on Wall St. Thank you to Milda DeVoe (director) and Christina Chiu (curator and co-host) for their great work in organizing the event.

But I also had time for some hours at the Met, where I wandered slowly through the Byzantine and Medieval galleries, followed by a quick whisk through Asia, ending in Nepal. I left with a lavishly-illustrated book about fabulous animals and bestiaries and with a gorgeous Phaidon book about Fra Angelico, which I had coveted when I went to the marvelous Fra Angelico show at the MMA a few years back--lucky for me, it was now half price, so I did not feel guilty lugging it home.

I stayed at the marvelous House of the Redeemer, now designated a New York City Landmark and currently serving as an Episcopal retreat house. The Italian Renaissance-style fantasy was designed by Grosvenor Atterbury in 1916 for Edith Shepard Fabbri and Ernesto Fabbri, with many architectural elements taken from the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino. Crammed with Escheresque hidden staircases, fabulous ceilings, and surprising details, it is the perfect setting for marvels. Many thanks to Rick and Kathy Jagels for toting me to New York and back again, something I did not expect and which I enjoyed very much.

Six Words for a Hat
from the House of the Redeemer site

Scott Bailey wrote another post about Glimmerglass. I'm always interested in what he says about books at Six Words for a Hat, even when the book is not mine. The rose bush is probably my favorite part this time: "I should remember to say something about Youmans' extraordinary prose. She's a poet, and her narrative rings with the sounds of formal verse and scripture, surprising touches all over the place... The writing is not dense; there's a light shining through the carefully-placed gaps, the unfilled chinks. Maybe Youmans' prose is like a rose bush, prickly and beautiful and full of open space; hard and dangerous upcroppings in support of beauty."

He also wrote about the book in January and in February.


Thanks to R. T. for recommending Glimmerglass at Beyond Eastrod. "Part fantasy, part idyll, and part mystery -- and a quite a bit more -- this one, which I am reading again, should be on your 'must read' list."

Pen Parentis elsewhere

Novelist Nicholas Kaufmann wrote a post about the Pen Parentis reading and decked it with photographs. Kelly Link visited his writing group--that must have been an exciting time for the writers involved. And here's Ananda Lima's shot--I'm that bit of a head at the right, the one with glasses...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pen Parentis, Tuesday

Spare Times for April 10-16, The New York Times 

A Fantasy Salon (Tuesday) Pen Parentis’s April salon features the fantasy writers Kelly Link, Lev Grossman and Marly Youmans. They will read from their works, and a book signing will follow. Afterward, there will be a Q. and A. moderated by Pen Parentis’s founder, M.M. De Voe, and the salon’s curator, the novelist Christina Chiu. Registration is required. At 7 p.m., Hotel Andaz, 75 Wall Street, at Pearl Street, Lower Manhattan,; free.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Pen Parentis, NYC

from the Pen Parentis site: 
The incomparable Kelly Link, Lev Grossman and Marly Youmans share the Pen Parentis stage at the April Pen Parentis Literary Salon reading from their highly-regarded, highly-creative works. The night begins at 7pm with networking over wine, compliments of Andaz Wall Street. Readings and signings will be followed by Q&A moderated by Pen Parentis founder M. M. De Voe and its new Salons curator, novelist Christina Chiu. Come join the fun!  Pen Parentis Literary Salons were founded to celebrate the creative work of writers that are also parents, and are a great place to meet industry notables.
The event takes place on Tuesday, April 14th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. Books will be vended for signings and proceeds go to Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

A little longer--

Detail of an image for Maze of Blood. Art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

I will also be offline for the week after Easter--I have been having problems with vitreous detachment after a spectacular ocular migraine, and my eyes do not want to look at screens for very long. Have a wonderful Easter, those who have been waiting for the day through Lent. And to all, "Love one another."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Light / break

La Sainte-Chapelle by Trey Ratcliff, from his portfolio
at Creative Commons license.

I am taking a break in the lead-up to Easter, and hope to see you here afterward. 
For those who follow the steps of the Passion, many bright 
falls of metaphysical gold to you!
And for all, these lovely Ratcliffean images of the light--
a forest of glass upheld by stone columns,
a cathedral of leaf and light upheld by green boles.

Another sort of cathedral, also shot by Trey Ratcliff
and in his portfolio at Creative Commons.
"The sun came out and started melting all the morning rain into a foggy mist
that fell down around and behind me." --Trey Ratcliff in Kyoto, Japan.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

the Luck Child, again--

Yesterday I wanted a kiss from the Luck Child, and today I have got it--a gorgeous glory of a review in Strange Horizons from that wonderful reviewer who always sees what no other reviewer sees, Tom Atherton of Wales. It's strong and wide-ranging and full of insight, delineating aspects of the book I like to see revealed. (He's even got a few criticisms, and I can tell you that he's the sort of reviewer whose remarks I will remember, next time I am revising a novel.)

Earlier he wrote an equally insightful review of Thaliad (and he begins this review with Thaliad) that pleased me very much--even, I can say, enlightened me. I am infinitely grateful to him for the results of his story-mining and contemplation.

I have sometimes doubted that beauty and perception can find their reward in our culture of trend and frantic change and celebrity. The fact that Strange Horizons has picked up Tom Atherton as a reviewer is heartening.

In more Luck Child news, most or all of my marked galley pages turned out to be not lost forever but scattered about "in the mail bin."

Images in this post: Art for Glimmerglass (Mercer, 2014) by Clive Hicks-Jenkins of Wales, book design by Mary-Frances Glover Burt of Georgia. Art for Thaliad (Phoenicia, 2012) by Clive as well, with design by Andrew Wakelin, also of Wales. May I just confess that I love Wales?