In Case You Forgot That The Onion Was Awesome

This may very well be my last post for the summer, as I have to return to school soon. That said, I’d like to thank all of you for reading the blog and I’d like to thank Hannah and Maribeth for giving me this great opportunity.

Over the course of my summer here at One Story, I’ve done a lot of slush reading. That in mind I found, probably, the best take of the submitter-reader relationship ever in The Onion Today. Poor Mike Mussina… He does the crossword puzzle every day you know. He is very tenacious, though, as he “told” the Onion:

“My next submission I think has a really good shot of getting in—’Works Of Ernest Hemingway If Hemingway Were A Robot,'” Mussina added. “You got your obvious ones like ‘The Amperage Also Rises,’ and ‘A Farewell To Cybernetic Arms.’ Then Joba [Chamberlain], in the bullpen the other day jokingly suggested ‘The Old Robot And The Sea,’ which at first I thought was stupid. But the more I thought about it, it actually might be pretty funny to just sort of point out the inherent absurdity of the original premise. Joba’s a funnier guy than he thinks.”

I guess Joba can go work on his stand-up routine while he rehabs from his shoulder injury. *Chris locks himself in the bathroom and cries over a lost season* Anyway, thanks again for reading and enjoy your stories!!!!

Man Booker Long List Announced

The long list for the Man Booker prize is in:

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
Gaynor Arnold, Girl in a Blue Dress
Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture
John Berger, From A to X
Michelle de Kretser, The Lost Dog
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant, The Clothes on Their Backs
Mohammed Hanif, A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency
Joseph O’Neill, Netherland
Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence
Tom Rob Smith, Child 44
Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

The Chair of judges, Michael Portillo, says of the list:

“With a notable degree of consensus, the five Man Booker judges decided on their longlist of 13 books. The judges are pleased with the geographical balance of the longlist with writers from Pakistan, India, Australia, Ireland and UK. We also are happy with the interesting mix of books, five first novels and two novels by former winners. The list covers an extraordinary variety of writing. Still two qualities emerge this year: large scale narrative and the striking use of humour.”

The Prize is awarded to any full-length novel, written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and published this year, is eligible for the prize. The novel must be an original work in English (not a translation) and must not be self-published.

Past winners include Kazuo Ishiguro for Remains of the Day, Yann Martel for Life of Pi, Arundhati Roy for The God of Small Things, and Graham Swift for Last Orders.

The 2008 shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 9th September at a press conference at Man Group’s London office. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at an awards ceremony at Guildhall, London.

Notes From the Trenches: The Caine Prize Is Announced

It was recently announced that Henrietta Rose-Innes is the ’08 winner of The Caine Prize, for her story “Poison”, which was published in the anthology African Pens. I couldn’t find the collection anywhere on Amazon, but I’ve given you a link to the full text of the story via the Guardian.

Jude Kelly, Chair of the judging board, said that Henrietta Rose-Innes’s work shows “a sharp talent, a rare maturity and a poetic intelligence that is both subtle and deeply effective. It is writing of the highest order.”

The Caine Prize is awarded to a short story published in English by an African writer whose work has reflected African sensibilities. With over 90 entries coming in from 17 African countries, the writers on the shortlist were:

Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghana) ‘Mallam Sile’, from ‘The Prophet of Zongo’,
published by Amistad, an imprint of Harper Collins, NY, 2005

Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi) ‘For Honour’ from ‘African Pens’, published
by Spearhead, an imprint of New Africa Books, Cape Town, 2007

Gill Schierhout ( South Africa ) ‘The Day of the Surgical Colloquium’ from
‘African Pens’, published by Spearhead, an imprint of New Africa Books, Cape
Town , 2007

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu ( Nigeria ) ‘ Cemetery of Life ’ from ‘Wasafiri’ No52
Autumn 2007

This award is very near and dear to One Story as two of our authors, Binyavanga Wainaina and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have won the award in the past.

Notes From the Trenches: There Where These Two Guys In a Lunatic Assylum…

So by now we all know how awesome the Dark Knight is, right?  WELL I have just the ticket for you! The Killing Joke was published in 1988, and, unlike Frank Miller’s other work, like the Dark Knight Returns, which is a novel, and Batman: Year One, which is a novella, it is a legitimate graphic short story, only 46 pages in length.

It begins with a meeting between Batman and The Joker in the Arkham Assylum for the Criminally Insane, in which Batman tells his foe, “I’ve been thinking lately. About you and me. About what’s going to happen to us, in the the end. We’re going to kill each other, aren’t we?” Then all hell breaks loose. The story is haunting and complex and it was supposedly given to Mr. Ledger as study material for his role. The edition I linked earlier, from Amazon is the new edition, which has been re-colored (re-inked?) by the artist, Brian Bolland, and it also includes another short graphic story by Bolland, An Innocent Guy, but the Miller’s haunting contribution to this never ending battle is the real attraction. Check it out if you feel so inclined.

Notes From the Trenches: Altschul v. Edison II The Thrilla In Manila

As promised, I have here Mike Edison’s review of One Story author Andrew Foster Altschul’s novel, Lady Lazarus, which was posted on Galley Cat today.

In the review, Edison says:

“Andrew Foster Altschul takes a whack at this slippery double-helix in his first novel, Lady Lazarus, and the result is a behemoth of a book that could have easily sprawled out of control in less capable hands.”

But that’s only the beginning, you’ll have to click on the link to read more about how awesome Lady Lazarus is! You can also visit Andrew Foster Altschul’s official website here.

Notes From the Trenches: Altschul vs. Edison

Amidst all the literary LOL cat, which are hilarious, by the way, one can find on Galley Cat today a very nice review by One Story Author, Andrew Foster Altschul, of “I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World” by Mike Edison.

Edison will in turn write a review of Altschul’s book Lady Lazarus and I will in turn post about that review on this site. Altschul calls Edison book an “exuberant rampage through the worlds of punk rock, pro wrestling, and hardcore pornography.” Now if that’s not enough to get your mouth watering, then I don’t know what is! Check out the review and check out Lady Lazarus, which is amazing, trust me.

Notes From the Trenches: Revisionist Blogging

Because I’m a genius, I informed all of you loyal readers out there a little while ago that our loyal subscriber, Rae Meadows, had just published her first novel. Only half of this was true, though, as her first  novel, Calling Out was published in 2006.

But Rae hasn’t been resting on her laurels since then. She’s be crafting a new novel, No One Tells Everything, which is going to be released on July 22nd, but you can re-order it on Amazon. (you know you want to)

My apologies for Rae for the mix-up. I hope you all check out her book!

Notes From the Trenches: Jessa Crispin’s Take On Publishing

Jessa Crispin, founder of, has a nice editorial piece in the Washington Post, which is a rebuttal to Jonathan Karp’s report on the state of publishing. The basic gist is that she thinks publishing houses are ignoring the internet as a way of publicizing novels. Take a look, and, if you have time, check out her
site. I’m a pretty big fan of it.

Notes From the Trenches: It’s Not That Difficult, Your Honor!

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“In a hearing held Monday in Portland, Ore. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman denied a request from the American Booksellers For Free Expression to issue a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of Oregon’s “harmful to minors” law until a trial can be held to judge the constitutionality of the statute. ABFFE’s Chris Finan said that while the organization was disappointed with the decision, it was glad that the judge set an early trial date–October 3–for the case to begin. Under the law, any retailer selling “sexually explicit” works to children under 13 faces up to one year in jail.”

Obviously, this idiot didn’t make it though the constitution. I know that the Bill of Rights is all the way at the end, but, I mean, you only have to read the first bullet point.

I’m a little confused about how this works. Are libraries now liable if they don’t cordon their Fiction section off with a bead curtain? Are there going to be culture dealers on corners pushing Tobias Wolff and Charles Bukowski to school children?

Nowadays, it is such a rare thing to see kids reading that you’d hardly want to limit their selection. In my younger, more vulnerable years, my parents always took a very active role in what I was reading. My father, especially, was never at a loss for a book recommendation. Needless to say, I think I would be best to let the children’s parents police what they want their kids to read.

Notes From the Trenches: Darin Strauss Is Kind of a Big Deal

Darin Strauss held a sizable gathering for his novel, More Than It Hurts You. Lots of people were there. Hannah told me and Hailey, the other One Story intern, to stop by, but my crippling fear of other people quickly stifled any desire to attend. Apparently I missed a real blow out, according to Galley Cat. Also, our very own Hannah Tinti received a shout-out in the blog post. Click on the link below to see One Story friend Jonathan Coulton & Darin Strauss do their own rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”