Content Tagged ‘Lookout Books’

News Roundup

2Qeno0hFriends, writing can be such a lonely business! The computer knows not the sound of your beating heart, and yet perhaps you spend more time with it than any other beloved. Writers being experts on the topic, and thank goodness, there’s no shortage of great books about loneliness. In this week’s roundup, a few other perspectives on togetherness and connection.

First, a peek behind-the-scenes at Lookout’s teaching-press model, where students and faculty work together to bring books they love into the world. “I imagine that at a bigger press, you would be in one department focusing on a specific aspect of publishing. But because we are a small press with a small number of interns, we get the chance to see and experience it all,” says first-year student Marissa Flanagan. Collaboration and creativity in the name of literature!

And of course when a manuscript finds the right home, it’s a connection worth celebrating. Ecotone poet Melissa Range’s second collection, Scriptorium, was one of this year’s National Poetry Series competition winners. Not only was Range’s collection selected by the incredible Tracy K. Smith, but it will be published next fall by Beacon Press.

Lookout author Steve Almond offers some perspective on getting social through social media in an article for Cogniscenti of WBUR Boston: “The essential work [writers] do is solitary. It consists of weaving words into sentences and sentences into narratives that help us see the world more truthfully—the world around us and within us.” While writers are often pleased to reach out to broader readerships through social media, Almond urges writers never to forget their ultimate purpose: to write!

In short: Be lonely! But not all the time. We hope your week is filled with togetherness and apartness in perfect measure.

 

Publication Day!

Today Lookout Books releases its debut novel, Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neill Null. We could not be more excited to bring this book to an audience of readers. Lyrical, suspenseful, tender, gritty, this book tells the story of a group of timber wolves at the turn of the century in the West Virginia Alleghenies who, complicit in profound environmental devastation, attempt to wrest control of their own fate.

Matt is a writer to pay attention to (his book of short stories is forthcoming from Sarabande too), and here—in his own words—is the story behind this unforgettable book.

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Honey from the Lion reclaims a vanished past—a history of daily toil and desire. It is a book of dreams, of the drifter and the clerk, of the washerwoman and the panther. I wanted to write America’s shadow story—the characters popular history crops from the frame. My home state of West Virginia has produced no great men, in the old sense of that phrase, no presidents, but hundreds of thousands have lived and died there, a rich human pageant. This novel is my bid to give them back their stories.

My dad had a good buddy on Fenwick Mountain named Brown. He was a mine foreman from Richwood, one of the boomtowns on which the novel’s Helena is based, in Nicholas County, where I was born. One summer day when I was eight or nine years old, Brown took us to visit a friend of his, an ex–coal miner. The friend was hunched over and shuffled as he walked—he lived off a disability check. After a long round of talk, he led us to what he called his museum, a cramped room in the attic of his farmhouse. Tables overflowed with shellacked hornets’ nests, shed antlers, obsolete hand tools, arrowheads and pestles, the skulls of bobcats, and stone-hard clutches of burrs from the American chestnut, gone a hundred years. But most impressive to me: on the backside of his mountain, the remains from a logging camp. He had picked his way down there and raked the earth to find what was left. He placed a spent pineknot in my palm, no bigger than a hand grenade, and explained how the loggers lit their way of a night, using the pitch as a torch. He had found their bottle dump and its wonders, like the three-sided blue bottles that once contained arsenic, bringing up visions of poisonings, of jealousies and fist fights in high mountain camps, far from the law. Last he led us to the garage, where he kept antiquated logging tools: drag chains, harnesses, the crosscut saw the loggers called the misery whip. After we’d waved good-bye to his friend, Brown spoke of the man’s loneliness. I looked back through the window of the truck, where I sat on the bench seat between Brown and my dad. He had gone back inside. Like that man, the keeper of those things, a novelist desires objects, textures, physicality. A novelist reconstructs vanished lives.

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Honey from the Lion Broadsides

Leading up to publication day for our debut novel, Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neill Null, we’ll be posting digital broadsides—one of our favorite lines from the book paired with a compelling image. We hope they whet your appetite for more from this fabulous book, in which a turn-of-the-century logging company decimates ten thousand acres of virgin forest in the West Virginia Alleghenies—and transforms a brotherhood of timber wolves into revolutionaries. You can find out more and preorder a copy here in advance of September 8. Stayed tuned for more broadsides, too.

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Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, and you can also find our digital broadsides on Pinterest.

Lit News Roundup

We’re back from a fantastic week in Minneapolis for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual conference. Thanks to everyone who took our books home with you and subscribed to Ecotone. We especially enjoyed meeting readers at our Thursday evening mingle and talking with you during the panel discussions throughout the conference.

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Now that all 12,000+ of us have dispersed, we’re excited to continue the conversations virtually, and the Literary Hub, launched April 8, is the perfect gathering place. The featured daily content includes interviews with authors and cover designers, among others; and this week Ecotone 15 contributor Megan Mayhew Bergman and Musings editor Mary Laura Philpott discuss Southerners with a dark(ish) hearts, work ethic, and the fertile ground for storytelling between history and literature.

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Seven Questions for Parnassus Books

After returning from this year’s Winter Institute, where we met hundreds of dedicated booksellers from across the country, we decided to take a virtual road trip to learn more about their stores. For the next several weeks, our interview series, Seven Questions, will spotlight some of our favorites—including Parnassus Books, Quail Ridge Books, and Hub City Bookshop, among others. You just don’t find better people than the good folks who own and work at them.

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The impressive book selection at Parnassus

Parnassus Books, which opened in 2011, is named after the sacred Grecian mountain known for its poetry, song, and knowledge. And the Nashville bookstore is indeed a home for literature and learning, with regular author readings and weekly story-time events for children. Co-owned by bestselling author Ann Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes, the beautiful store offers an intimate and thoughtful selection of books.

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Lit News Roundup

We loved meeting all of the smart, dedicated booksellers at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in Asheville last week. Thanks to everyone who came to our NC Speakeasy, joined us for the rep picks lunches, and added Lookout’s debut novel, Honey from the Lion, to your tote bags. If you weren’t able to snag a galley, please e-mail us.

Four years after the collapse of Borders, “Independents are looking at adding locations and taking back some of the physical bookshelf space that had been lost,” writes Judith Rosen of Publishers Weekly. We couldn’t be happier to read about the ongoing resurgence.

Speaking of bookstores, this “carousel of light” just opened in the heart of Bucharest. Read on to discover six beautiful floors of more than 10,000 books. The space will also host cultural events and concerts.

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The Giving Spirit: Lookout Books in the Little Free Library

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As Lookout staff members head home for the holidays, they’re carrying along copies of our books to distribute to various Little Free Libraries, those adorable little boxes of books sprouting up across the country, where anyone can pick up a book (or two) and bring back another to share.

Check your nearest Little Free Library for Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman, God Bless America by Steve Almond, River Bend Chronicle by Ben Miller, When All the World Is Old by John Rybicki, and the Ecotone fiction anthology, Astoria to Zion. Books are on their way to Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, and Nebraska, as well as libraries in Lookout’s hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Lit News Roundup

It’s the final week of classes here at UNCW, and we’re beyond grateful to the student staffers who are the heart of our enterprise. This semester, they’ve dedicated their energy and talents to threading a book interior, researching and pitching covers, hand-lettering titles, fact-checking, proofreading, writing media materials, and planning the marketing and publicity strategy for next year’s release. Thanks to Abby Chiaramonte, Liz Granger, Justin Klose, Katie Prince, Bethany Tap, and especially Becky Eades, who has managed our social media platforms, including this blog, with diligence and care over the past few years. You all will be missed, and we wish you every success in your future writing and publishing endeavors. (Good luck finishing up your portfolios and exams too!)

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As 2014 draws to a close and we hit the bookstores for holiday shopping, we thought we’d round up a few best-of lists that caught our eye:

Time released lists of the Top Ten Everything in 2014, including the Top Ten Fiction Books and the Top Ten Nonfiction Books.

Was 2014 the year of the debut? Electric Literature thinks so, but we recommend keeping an eye out for Lookout’s debut novel, Honey from the Lion, in 2015.

We’re always eager to see which titles make the “100 Notable Books of 2014” from the New York Times.

Slate issued the “22 Best Lines of 2014,” featuring Astoria to Zion and Ecotone contributor Rebecca Makkai. Head over to read her sentence and twenty-one others from some of the year’s “most enjoyable books.”

Speaking of sentences, Salon published a terrific collection of ”Two-sentence Thanksgiving Fiction,“ featuring authors Brock Clarke and Rebecca Makkai.

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What We’re Reading

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving week with another installment of What We’re Reading. As Anne Lamott writes, “Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of the things that you don’t get in life … wonderful, lyrical language, for instance. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention and this is a great gift.”

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Lookout intern Becky Eades is reading Space, in Chains by Laura Kasischke.

Space, in Chains vibrates with memories of Kasischke’s youth, coupled with wrenching poems about her father, to form a narrative of both celebration and grief. The surprising image in “Hospital parking lot, April,” for example, tells us everything we need to know: “These seagulls above the parking lot today, made of hurricane and / ether, they // have flown directly out of the brain wearing little blue-gray masks, / like strangers’ faces, full // of winged mania, like television in waiting rooms.”

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