Saturday, January 20, 2018
Books

What's Lynne Barrett reading?

Nightstand

Lynne Barrett

Barrett is the first-place winner in the general fiction category of the 2011 Florida Book Awards, announced last month. The recognition was for her collection of short stories, Magpies. The New Jersey native received her bachelor's in English from Mount Holyoke College and her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We caught up with the author as she traveled through Northern California while on a one-year sabbatical from her position as a professor in the MFA program in creative writing at Florida International University. She will read from and sign Magpies on April 16 at Inkwood Books in Tampa.

What's on your nightstand?

I always have a stack of books. I like reading a variety, and I tend to read a lot of collections. I've got A Kind of Flying by Ron Carlson. I keep going back to Ron Carlson. It's his fullness of character and the world and, at the same time, his characters take surprising turns. I think, for me, I can say that about William Trevor and Colette, too.

And what else in on your nightstand?

Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories by Italo Calvino, with Glaciation being my favorite. A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James. It's a collection of ghost stories. I've got the novel Night Swim by Jessica Keener, Susan Orlean's Rin Tin Tin and Jessica Kerwin Jenkins' An Encyclopedia of the Exquisite. It has different entries pointing out something she deems exquisite, the beautiful and the sublime. So, with my nightstand, I think by reading things in juxtaposition. It frees me up to reinvent myself. I like to include something that is older, something that is contemporary and that sort of thing.

Can you mention another go-to writer?

Colette, and my favorite short story by Colette is The Hand, and then I also love her long story Belle-Vista.

Why do you choose to write short stories?

I like to think that it's about the quality of everything you thought was there, and how it turns upside down. It's how the main character, the (point of view) character had his or her world understood, but then how it is goes upside down. There's such a pleasure and completeness in the compact size of a short story.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer

Comments
‘Year in Provence’ author Peter Mayle dies at 78

‘Year in Provence’ author Peter Mayle dies at 78

Peter Mayle, whose international bestseller A Year in Provence sent countless tourists to the vineyards and lavender fields of Southern France, has died.In an email, Mr. Mayle’s publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, reported that he died Thursday in a hospital...
Published: 01/18/18

Events: Bob Woodward to speak at Mahaffey

Book TalkAuthor and journalist Roy Peter Clark (Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer) will lead a workshop, "How to Read Like a Writer," at 2 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Tickets $5.Bob Woodward ...
Published: 01/18/18
Notable: Books from those countries

Notable: Books from those countries

NotableBooks from those countriesHere are books by immigrants from some of the countries recently disparaged by the president. Americanah (Anchor) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a brilliant novel set in this country and in the author’s native Nigeria,...
Published: 01/18/18
Review: Tim Dorsey’s ‘The Pope of Palm Beach’ reveals a sweeter side of Serge Storms

Review: Tim Dorsey’s ‘The Pope of Palm Beach’ reveals a sweeter side of Serge Storms

It’s an odd thing to say about a book in the Serge Storms series, but The Pope of Palm Beach is really kind of sweet.Serge might not want to hear that. He does, after all, kill people, in highly creative ways, when he’s not in manic pursuit of his pa...
Published: 01/18/18
‘Fire and Fury’ burns up bestseller lists

‘Fire and Fury’ burns up bestseller lists

When author Michael Wolff was interviewed on the Today show about his book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Savannah Guthrie asked him how he felt about President Donald Trump’s attacks on it. Wolff responded, "Where do I send the box of ...
Published: 01/17/18

Events: Writers in Paradise features Banks, Lippman, more

Book TalkThe Writers in Paradise evening readings continue this week. All readings will take place in the Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Books will be available for purchase on site. All readings are free and o...
Published: 01/11/18
Notable: Books on Trump, one year in

Notable: Books on Trump, one year in

NotableOne year inWith the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration approaching, here are new books about him. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Henry Holt) by Michael Wolff is the incendiary look at the administration that provoke...
Published: 01/11/18
Andre Dubus III reads to ‘sink more deeply’ into the human condition

Andre Dubus III reads to ‘sink more deeply’ into the human condition

NightstandAndre Dubus IIIEckerd College’s Writers in Paradise conference takes place this week, and one of the returning faculty members is Andre Dubus III. Dubus is the author of six books, including Bluesman, Townie and two novels turned films, The...
Published: 01/11/18
Steph Post’s Florida noir ‘Walk in the Fire’ a sizzling sequel to ‘Lightwood’

Steph Post’s Florida noir ‘Walk in the Fire’ a sizzling sequel to ‘Lightwood’

In Steph Post’s new novel, Walk in the Fire, there’s a young aspiring criminal with a gift for astute observation. Asked to describe the tiny Central Florida town of Silas, where much of the book takes place, he says, "You drive through and it’s like...
Published: 01/11/18
Former Times columnist Klinkenberg named Florida Folk Heritage Award winner

Former Times columnist Klinkenberg named Florida Folk Heritage Award winner

Raise a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and toast former Tampa Bay Times columnist Jeff Klinkenberg. This week, he was announced as one of three 2018 winners of the Florida Folk Heritage Awards.The awards honor outstanding folk artists and folk ...
Published: 01/10/18