A woman from Cairo

For some time I’ve been reading Val Landi’s blog about his book "A Woman from Cairo" which, of course, is not available on UK Amazon unless you want one copy (that’s all there is on there) for 56 pounds sterling. Val’s is an interesting blog about writing, publishing and marketing (or attempting in the second two cases) your novel. Val has been going great guns recently on selling his book via US Amazon.

Today, Val has an amazing post: "Post A Woman from Cairo on your website or blog through the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Alibris affiliate programs along with a jpeg of the cover, and I’ll send you a free autographed copy of the novel. Post it and send me a link and your snailmail address and I’ll mail it off."

Well, I can’t do this as I’m not set up for it, and the offer may only be good for US addresses (though I have my methods!). I thought I’d post this information so anyone in the US who reads this, and has the set-up Val describes, can take advantage of his generous offer.

If nothing else, Val is a fan of "24", which has to be good.

Another list — women this time

Ten Current Women Writers You Should Read

Yes, it is another list. To celebrate "women’s history month", About Literature lists 10 women authors whose work we should read, apparently.

Who are they? Isabelle Allende, Margaret Atwood, Sarah Dunant, Cornelia Funke, Ursula K LeGuin, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith.

I’ve read at least one book by most of these authors, sometimes more than one. Some of these women are, in my opinion, pretty much "one book" authors — I loved "House of the Spirits" by Allende, and her second novel (forget the title), even though it was not a patch on the first. I read a couple more but found them increasingly disappointing. Atwood I’ve never liked (too determinedly making feminist points and "being clever"), Dunant was good when she wrote detective stories but I’m not tempted by her reinvented historian persona. Both my daughters quite like Funke but in their estimation absolutely not a patch on the wonderful J K Rowling (why on Earth is she not on the list? What a crazy omission.)

I think on balance I would prefer to read a few dead women authors than many of the above, eg Jane Austen, George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte. Or, more recently, Carol Shields. Of living authors not included, I like Marge Piercy (mostly — have not read her historical books but like her "modern" fiction), Nikki Gerard (who writes "straight" fiction as sole author and, collaboratively, "crime" fiction with her husband Sean French under the name of Nikki French), Anita Shreve, Joanna Trollope, Sue Miller, Maggie O’Farrell (have read only one of hers, but have more on my pile). Possibly Anita Brookner, I used to read each one of hers as they came out, but it is a while since I’ve wanted to do that.

There are probably other women authors I like reading outside the sphere of "genre" fiction. I’ll probably remember their names as soon as I finish writing this post. C’est la vie with lists.

Giles G-B said…

I’m really glad you mentioned Carol Shields.

10:45 AM

Maxine said…

Yes, I like Carol Shields – I haven’t read all her books but so far, "Unless" is my favourite.

One I forgot: Alice Walker.

8:34 PM

Company of bloggers

Micro Persuasion: Blogger Firings Down, Hirings Up?

Steve Rubel reports good news for bloggers — some statistics to show that there is a "decrease" the numbers of people being fired by their companies for blogging. Actually, the "statistics" seem to be a trace of the number of posts matching the search term "fired for blogging" in the past 360 days, so much may have been missed.

If it is a real decrease, Steve thinks it results from fear of bad publicity, increased tolerance for bloggers, and/or the fact that companies may actually be hiring bloggers. He doesn’t think that the figures result from more companies having blog policies, though I agree with him that it would be good if they did. Or would it?

The poor World Weary Detective was not fired (I hope), ‘merely’ forced to shut down by the introduction of his employer’s blogging policy. If these policies, where they do exist, are such that blogging employees feel too constrained to continue, then there seems something askew in the particular company’s employee-employer culture.

Being a scientist

The Daily Transcript: The Worst Parts of Scientific Life

Are scientists like everybody else? Of course they are, but what is it like to be one? Like any specialist profession (lawyer, accountant), how can people outside the specialism understand what it is like to be one?

The post I’ve linked to here, by Alex Palazzo of The Daily Transcript blog, sums it up excellently. His entry is a list, but it is a thoughtful list, and you certainly don’t have to be a scientist (as I was) or a camp-follower (as I am now) to ‘get’ it.

Alex’s post counters the popular misconception of scientists as "men in white coats" or "unhinged megalomaniacs". Maybe one day we’ll routinely read books or see films in which scientists are characters, not cliches.