Greetings from Nostalgistudio, where winter is a time for gathering creative forces–and for reading! A lot of both happening around here. Thanks, as always, to all stalwart and loyal readers. In the interests of collegiality, for those who like writing by women I offer some book recommendations gleaned from recent enjoyments:
Five Spice Street by Can Xue, translated by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. Hilarity, surreality, and an irresistible femme fatale combine forces against propriety, in a feast packed with pure imagination from one of China’s most interesting writers.
Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf. From 1920, a collection of shorter pieces; significantly for Nostalgistudio, this was the first of her books that Virginia Woolf issued from Hogarth Press, which she ran privately with her husband Leonard. Beautiful from start to finish and available via public domain.
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien. Released from the spell of a genocidal dictator in disguise, a privileged Irishwoman takes her place among contemporary London’s dispossessed and refugees. If you’ve never read Edna O’Brien, here’s some appreciation from Canada to prepare you.
Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral, translated by Ursula Le Guin. A treasure trove of gorgeous thought and imagery from an overlooked (although she won the Nobel Prize!) and much traveled Chilean poet. Offered in the original Spanish with English versions beautifully rendered by the American genius who died last year.
Faith Fox by Jane Gardam. Always this novelist’s stories take strangely unexpected but quite perfect turns. This one had me in tears by the beautiful final pages. Discover Jane Gardam!
And here is a look at winter trees from my favorite after-work walk down the Hudson River to Battery Park. Stay warm out there.
November 2018 / Another personal note from Liz Mackie:
Haven’t updated in a little while, but I’m delighted to say that the print edition of LAMENT is done, on sale at major on-line retailers, and selling. Here are my friend and muse and story-giver Larissa and me at a local cafe, showing it off:
A word of grateful acknowledgement for IngramSparks: a terrific company that puts out a fine product and follows through on distribution. Among my next steps, I’ve put together a press release and will be getting the word about LAMENT out to anyone I can think of. Two generous anonymous readers have left five-star reviews on Amazon.com. This is a big help! Any writer-publisher going it mostly alone like this is 100% dependent on readers to generate excitement about the work. So, if you’re excited, or even merely pleased, please speak up. All are welcome to share the press release as well; download from this site or contact me for copies.
Meanwhile watch these pages for more insight into the world of LAMENT as well as other upcoming Nostalgistudio titles…
And here’s a photo taken on the way between my office downtown and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, one of my favorite walks in Lower Manhattan, taken last month on Halloween.
August 2018 / A personal note from Liz Mackie:
Here we were last Saturday on 8.18.18, me and my friends, celebrating seeing LAMENT in print at last! Larissa Mikhaylova on the left told me the story she’d heard from her massage patient Betya. On the right is our hostess, Lara’s daughter Marianna, who helped so much with translation and research. The book could not exist without them.
This has been a big endeavor, and it’s not over yet. Through my own clumsiness with files a couple of Yiddish phrases didn’t print right. Needing to fix that set me off on a full-scale read-through and proofing. Though I can always find things to fiddle at and polish, the book reads very well, I think. I’m looking forward to being able to offer the finished result on September 15, when print copies of LAMENT will go sale. More on this to come…