Sunday, February 18, 2018
Books

Padgett Powell to speak, sign books at Oxford Exchange in Tampa on Aug. 13

When Padgett Powell speaks, readers listen.

Voice has always been the hallmark of Powell's fiction; he's a modern master of first-person narrative. In books like The Interrogative Mood — composed entirely of questions directed at the reader — and You & Me, a Samuel Beckett-in-Dixie dialogue, he creates whole worlds out of the voices of characters.

That's been true ever since his first novel, Edisto, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1984. Now Catapult Press has published a handsome new edition of Edisto, with an introduction by Roy Blount Jr., and Powell will bring his own distinctive voice to Tampa to talk about it. He'll appear Aug. 13 for a discussion and signing at the Oxford Exchange.

Powell, 65, has been on the faculty of the creative writing program of the University of Florida since 1984. He has published six novels and three short story collections, and his work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, the Paris Review, Best American Short Stories and Best American Sports Writing.

Edisto established his mastery of voice right off the bat, narrated as it is by 12-year-old Simons Manigault, who is growing up in an eccentric (to put it mildly) setting on the coast between Savannah and Charleston. As Blount writes in his introduction, Simons is "a deeply likeable and reliable, extraordinarily non-emo, teller of his tale." Edisto has been compared to books by J.D. Salinger, James Joyce and Flannery O'Connor.

Blount, no slouch himself when it comes to voice, says of it, "As a writer I was envious of Edisto then and am envious of it now. As just myself the reader, I love going back over it, picking up on highlights anew."

You can hear about it today in Powell's very own voice.

Comments
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18
Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

The election is fraught with wild allegations and vicious character assassination, accusations of corruption and kickbacks, misspelled messages and outrageous debates — and of course the Russians have their hands all over it.The 2016 presidential rac...
Published: 02/16/18

Events: Dr. Steven Masley to discuss ‘Better Brain Solution’ in Tampa

Book TalkRoslyn Franken (Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit) will discuss and sign her memoir at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at Seminole Community Library, St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N.Dr. Ste...
Published: 02/15/18
Lauren Doyle Owens’ ‘Other Side of Everything’ a suspenseful look at life and death in suburbia

Lauren Doyle Owens’ ‘Other Side of Everything’ a suspenseful look at life and death in suburbia

Adel Minor dies alone, in her three-bedroom ranch house in a South Florida suburb. It’s the fire people notice first, a column of smoke rising amid the 1960s ranch houses of Seven Springs, but once it’s put out the firefighters find Adel, a widow in ...
Published: 02/14/18
Jeremy McCarter, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-author, tells us what he’s reading

Jeremy McCarter, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-author, tells us what he’s reading

NightstandJeremy McCarterMcCarter, 41, is the co-author with Lin-Manuel Miranda of the book Hamilton: The Revolution. It was McCarter who introduced Miranda to Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater in New York, and that introducti...
Published: 02/14/18
Review: David Pedreira’s ‘Gunpowder Moon’ a gripping story of murder on the lunar surface

Review: David Pedreira’s ‘Gunpowder Moon’ a gripping story of murder on the lunar surface

Gunpowder Moon drops the reader right into the action — and I do mean drops."Dechert stood at the crater rim and looked down," David Pedreira writes in the opening line of his debut novel. "Dionysius was a monster — two miles deep and wide enough to ...
Published: 02/09/18
Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ explores love between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ explores love between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Imagine what it would be like to love someone who belongs to the whole world.When we fall in love, we always compete with other people and forces for our beloved’s attention. Amy Bloom’s smart and tender new novel, White Houses, takes us inside the e...
Published: 02/09/18
Crimes and passion: Three very different kinds of love story

Crimes and passion: Three very different kinds of love story

We love lovers’ stories that pit them against all sorts of obstacles, and these new books do just that — whether it’s a young couple struggling with an unthinkable separation, middle-aged lovers whose affair is heightened by religious guilt, or a guy...
Published: 02/09/18
Ryan McIlvain reads for the radical

Ryan McIlvain reads for the radical

NightstandRyan McIlvainMcIlvain, 35, is an English professor at the University of Tampa who received his MFA degree from Rutgers-Newark University and was awarded the Stegner Fellowship in Fiction at Stanford University. In his new novel, The Radi...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/12/18

Events: Pulitzer winner Wesley Lowery talks about ‘They Can’t Kill Us All’ at USF

Book TalkKeep St. Pete Lit and Friends of the Mirror Lake Library present author Steph Post (Walk in the Fire) discussing and signing her Florida noir novel at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the library, 280 Fifth St. N, St. Petersburg.Tampa Bay Times staff wr...
Published: 02/08/18