In the Red publishes today!
The Millions took note, and I got advance notice of a good review forthcoming in Booklist: “Shapiro (13 rue Thérèse, 2011) has written a deeply dark yet strangely uplifting second novel, about a woman beginning to find herself, discovering her own power and the tools to make use of it.”
Meanwhile I have an excerpt of the book up at Nerve.com if you’d like to get a foretaste. I didn’t know Irina was so into red lipstick (they took their cue from the saucy book cover I’m sure), but I like. Classic and shamelessly sexy.
Lots of stuff in the hopper! I have a story out in the new Zyzzyva and a column about fairy tales coming out on HuffPo on Friday and other stuff I hope gels… The journey begins.
Here is an advance copy of In the Red, just chillin’ out, existing:
Sexy blurb from the front:
“In The Red is an absolutely dazzling book, a nuanced and haunting meditation on morality, love, crime, and belonging. In a word, this book is brilliant.”
Emily St. John Mandel
Sexy blurb from the back:
“In the Red has all the elements that make for a down-the-rabbit-hole story: it’s exotic, dangerous, deviant, delicious. But this is also essential reading about sex and identity–how trauma informs first loves and relationships open old wounds. Shapiro understands the balance sheet of power between men and women better than any other writer out there. In the Red deserves a place beside Colette and Anaïs Nin on every woman’s bookshelf.”
Plus it already has a lovely thoughtful review on Goodreads! Sweet.
Do not buy it from Amazon. Amazon bad. The cover image in the sidebar leads to the pre-order page from Barnes & Noble, which will feature the book on its New Arrivals table starting September 16.
I have been remiss in updating this blog, and generally hermitting. It’s been for good reason! The baby is crowning. If I haul a lot of ass, I will have a full draft of In the Red by the end of of July. If I haul less ass, by the end of summer. Pretty sweet, no?
Meanwhile, some neato news while I hermit:
• 13 rue Thérèse is finally coming out in France in August, from Michel Lafon. Here is the link to pre-order from Fnac, which is like the French Barnes & Noble. Squee! Just thinking of a French edition of my book being in their big-ass store in the Forum des Halles right near where I grew up makes me all tingly! Here is the cover, all tiny because I suck at technology:
I am wee.
• Also, whilst googling myself to see whether anyone on the internet has posted that I like to bathe in the blood of Christian babies, I found this lovely review of my story “Commuting” in Zyzzyva, on Ruelle Electrique, an online literary salon. It’s their “unabashed favorite from the issue!” “A rich story” teeming with “grit and beauty!” How does randomly finding something like this make a writer feel? Why, it fills said writer with hearts and butterflies!
is all I’m sayin’
13 rue Thérèse is now out in paperback! With a sexy quote from USA Today right on the cover–rowr. In celebration, I am changing the link on the side of this page. If you click on the cover of my book, it will now take you to the amazon page for the paperback rather than the hardback.
13 rue Thérèse also just launched in Poland! Plus the Italian paperback came out and the cover looks totally different. Check it out:
(Sorry I could not find a larger image! My googlefu is weak. Anyway, saucy, no?)
Short story-wise, I have one out now in The Farallon Review. It’s got dogs! And creepy bad things happen! Do creepy bad things happen to the dogs? Only one way to find out: get a copy of the journal…
In the Red-wise, I just passed the 200-page mark earlier this week. I think that’s probably about two thirds of it. So, this week, instead of Sophomore Novel Angst, I have a case of Sophomore Novel YAY, which is way more fun as syndromes go. Sophomore Novel YAY manifests as an early morning trip to a diner to feast on something called The Volcano. The Volcano is composed of: three giant buttermilk pancakes with syrup, two eggs sunny side up on top, and four slices of bacon. Is this a great country or what?
Yes, I ate the whole thing, and no, I regret nothing.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Thank you, Mr Churchill. I think I just passed the mid-point of In the Red. Phew. I am at another stopping point where restructuring will have to take place. This is pretty much the most inefficient way to write a book EVER. It took me like a year for find a narrative voice–and there’s still no solid structure! Basically I write in fragments until I get to a pausing place, then shuffle everything around to make it as cohesive as possible. Then I keep generating the fragments until the whole thing is balanced all wrong and I can’t go any further, and I have to pause and reshuffle again before I can continue. I feel like Sisyphus. Hold me.
These days I spend a lot of time considering alternate careers. Hey, speaking of alternate careers and Winston Churchill, I think I’m going to chuck this whole novelist thing and open a nautically-themed gay bar called The Traditions of the Royal Navy. Who’s with me? (Although apparently that quote was not actually uttered by Mr Churchill. Drat.)
In better news, I just went over the proofs of my story “Commuting” for Zyzzyva’s Spring issue. It looks coooooooooool! It will be out in April! Brace yourself for the awesome. There will be a sexy, sexy release party at Tosca’s in San Francisco if you feel like coming by. I’ll also have a couple of appearances around the March release of the paperback for 13 rue Thérèse. Check out my events page if you’d like to swing by for any and all of these gatherings… I’m sure you could get a bit of rum at Tosca’s! You’re on your own for sodomy and the lash though, unless of course I get to open my bar.
• 13 rue Thérèse was published as a paperback in the UK this week, complete with a sexy quote from Simon Schama right on the front cover (“a flirty, dirty tease of a novel” ROWR!). Plus a nice review came out in various British papers from Pam Norfolk.
• Remember the gothic dog story I was talking about on this blog sometime ago? It found a home! It will be published in The Farallon Review in February of 2012. Pretty sweet, no?
• This afternoon, I blew some bubbles at my cat and it TOTALLY EXPLODED HER LITTLE WALNUT BRAIN. Her world was thoroughly rocked. She kept sniffing the ground where they popped to try to figure out where they went.
• I have been doing all sorts of awesome research for my novel that I can’t post about on this blog because it’s pretty raunchy. But I thought I’d tease and tantalize you by mentioning what I’m not going to talk about. Yes, my dears, you’re just going to have to wait to read my findings in book form Lord-knows-when…
• I took an awesome vacation in Barcelona with some friends. If you ever make it there, I recommend five things:
- Eat lots of ham. The Spanish rock at ham.
- Check out all the Gaudi architecture. That guy was the best kind of nut.
- Do NOT check out the sex show at the Bagdad Club if you ever want to sleep again.
- Bring bug repellent, unless you’re into sporting gigantic mosquito bites that turn into humongous bruises all over your body when they heal. I mean, you might be into it. Like, when people ask what happened to you, you can tell them you got into a bar brawl. Or you could wipe a tear from the side of your eye and say, “I guess I just don’t listen.” Your choice.
- Look up when you hear squawks! Barcelona has a very sweet and entertaining population of small green wild parrots.
• My stomach is currently growling. This is indeed a fascinating development. One that will unfortunately require me to sign off and forage for food…
Here I am between David Sedaris and Anita Shreve in the wilds of my local Barnes and Noble:
While I was dorking out taking this picture, a nice couple stopped by and asked me if I was the author and I said yes and they read the back of the book and then they bought it and then I signed it. WHOA. (Signing felt like a minor act of vandalism but I guess I’ll get used to it…)
Much stuff has been happening. I got to write guest posts for BookPage and 1st Books: Stories of How Writers Get Started. I’ve been getting lots of blog reviews–I think more than I can keep track of. My favorite cranky review said that I am a bad, smutty writer like that awful DH Lawrence. That is the most wonderful way I’ve been insulted, ever! The crudity of my language is apparently reminiscent of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was published in 1928–and 13 rue Thérèse is set in 1928, so I feel like I win at life. I managed to capture that 1928 flavor. Sweet.
Of course, the reviews that moved me the most were the good ones where it looked like I connected with the readers. How awesome! It is why I got into this whole publishing racket in the first place. So, to all the people out there who enjoyed my book and got something true out of it, I give you a great big virtual hug.
Meanwhile, to keep myself from exploding with the anxiety of all these developments (it’s all very elating but my body is in an undeniable state of alarm, my brain constantly morse coding out this is… not… normal… commence… freaking out…), I have been writing this random Gothic diptych about dead dogs. I know. Brains are weird. I just finished a draft of Part One today. Tomorrow I will begin Part Two. Oh–and speaking of short stories, I will have one coming out with Five Chapters next week, which will rock my socks. It’s a great website: they publish a new story every week, serially from Monday through Friday, so you can go back every day for new content.
Okay. I am going to go try to not explode. It’s going to be increasingly hard because I got word that my book is going to be in the New York Times Book Review on February 13 and I am absolutely shitting bricks. Please please please be gentle with me, unknown NYTBR reviewer…
(I must develop some kind of emotional coping mechanism for this attention I’m getting. That, or a drug habit. Whoa, you guys, I just explained all of Hollywood to myself.)
Jonathan Harker may be my favorite dumbass in English literature. His finest moment comes early in his sojourn in Dracula’s castle. The count visits him in his room while he’s shaving. Wolves are howling right outside (“Children of the night, what music they make!”), there is a blue mist creeping everywhere, and when Dracula notices that Jonathan sees that he casts no reflection in the shaving mirror, he shatters it with his mind.
Jonathan’s reaction: oh no! Now I can’t shave.
I felt a bit like that when I woke up this morning and noticed that there was an uptick in the number of visitors to my blog. Where did they come from? The link in my stats read “The New Yorker.” Surely that couldn’t be right. I clicked.
My reaction: huh. Well, this explains the increased traffic to my blog.
Followed by an intense surge of nausea, which is how I react to all strong emotions, especially the positive ones. So–wow. That was amazing. So–this is what it feels like to be caught in the gaze of an animal much bigger than me. (Hello! You are a stunning entity. Please don’t bite.)
Inadvertently brilliant casting, or just brilliant? Discuss.
After practically exploding with impatience after seeing the squeeing from my publisher about how pretty the book is, I have received an actual physical copy of 13 rue Thérèse. After so many years, it has finally leapt out of my head and materialized. Here it is, a dream image made real. Amazing.
My husband is next to me right now, flipping through it like it’s a… it’s a BOOK. Holy shit.
It is really beautiful, smashing work on the part of the publisher. The colors, visuals, texture of the paper, everything. It is truly the object I imagined it might be. It even smells nice!
I am going to go around carrying this thing everywhere like a child with a security blanket. When the whole box of them comes, I will have to celebrate in some cathartic way. Maybe pile them up on my desk and snort them like Al Pacino in Scarface? Damn, no: too big to snort. Pour them out on my bed and roll around naked in them? Wait–ow–too many corners. Hmmm. I’ll have to figure out something. I can’t believe this thing exists!
Here it is, just-a-existin’:
Other cool stuff: this article on Shelf Awareness about the awesome website, and a wonderful review of the book on Alison’s Bookmarks that made me feel all squishy. Okay, bye! I have to go hug my baby some more.
(1) This blog now has its own pimptastic domain name! Welcome to elenamaulishapiro.com. Aw yeah. If you click on the link, it will take you… where you are. I know. Life is like that.
(2) I just got my very first review ever for 13 rue Thérèse, on Library Journal. It is here (you’ll have to scroll a bit to find me). I had a tiny heart attack when I got to the word VERDICT in red all-caps like that, as if they were going to take me out back and execute me. But, the verdict is positive, so, huzzah! And with a comparison to the awesome Nick Bantock! Huzzah x2! And I can finally say I’ve had press. Oooooooh I’m going to put it on my Press page right now.
(3) I printed out what I have of my next book so far, about 20,000 words. (Somewhere around 80 pages) It felt good to see it on paper, because when you’re just typing away on a Microsoft document, it doesn’t feel like you’re actually making any progress. Also I got terribly stuck and needed to read it through, to see if I could see any semblance of structure emerging from my pile of fragments. I realized today that a lot of the stuff I’ve been writing lately actually belongs way in the beginning, so that’s nice. After I’ve finished marking it up, there will be much shuffling.
(4) You can make colors! All over your text! Wheeeeeeeee! Doing this repeatedly would not at all get annoying!
(Sorry, I just discovered this making VERDICT all scary and red to mimic the typesetting on the Library Journal site… I will attempt to contain myself in the future. But I can make no promises.)