BLP Conversations: Tim Horvath & Mark Changizi

Welcome to the BLP Conversations series, featuring dialogues between people whose lifework, like BLP’s mission, explores the creative territory at the intersection of the arts and sciences, and has become a testament to how science and the humanities can join forces to educate and inspire. This online series is inspired by E.O. Wilson and Robert Hass, whose talk about the connections between science and the arts was published in our book The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass. Horvath-Changizi-banner

In this conversation, Tim Horvath, author of the short story collection Understories, and Mark Changizi, a theoretical cognitive scientist, discuss the evolutionary science behind language and reading, while exploring the brain’s response to written language and music, and the potential for harnessing both into evocative fiction. Continue reading…


BLP Conversations: Charles L. Bardes & Tom Sleigh

Welcome to the BLP Conversations series, featuring dialogues between people whose lifework, like BLP’s mission, explores the creative territory at the intersection of the arts and sciences, and has become a testament to how science and the humanities can join forces to educate and inspire. This online series is inspired by E.O. Wilson and Robert Hass, whose talk about the connections between science and the arts was published in our book The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass.

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In this conversation, Charles L. Bardes, physician and author of Pale Faces: The Masks of Anemia (from the BLP Pathographies series), and critically-acclaimed poet Tom Sleigh explore the way myths influenced their psyches, and how the narratives of the gods were transposed onto classrooms and football games and suburban neighborhoods in their early writerly minds. Continue reading…


BLP Conversations: Austin Ratner & Joseph E. LeDoux

Welcome to the BLP Conversations series, featuring dialogues between people whose lifework, like BLP’s mission, explores the creative territory at the intersection of the arts and sciences, and has become a testament to how science and the humanities can join forces to educate and inspire. This online series is inspired by E.O. Wilson and Robert Hass, whose talk about the connections between science and the arts was published in our book The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass.

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In the first installment of the BLP Conversations series, Austin Ratner, author of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature award-wining novel The Jump Artist, speaks to Joseph E. LeDoux, professor and director of the Emotional Brain Institute at NYU, about the brain-mind and art-science divides. Their conversation traverses the more provocative theories of biology, psychoanalysis, and technology—from emergent properties to Freud to the Singularity. While LeDoux, a neuroscientist, discusses the neurological complexities of fear, Ratner—a trained physician who left the field to focus on writing—comes to terms with his own fear of one day being replaced by a novel-writing robot. Continue reading…


Read excerpts from A Loaded Gun at Longreads and the Literary Hub.

Jerome Charyn explores Emily Dickinson’s tradecraft, imagining the poet as a 21st-century CIA analyst, in an exclusive outtake chapter from A Loaded Gun in Stay Thirsty Magazine.

Tune in to the Late Night Conversation podcast to hear our publisher Erika Goldman discuss being a part of the NYU School of Medicine and the nexus of art and science.

A cause for celebration… Tim Horvath’s first collection of short fiction, Understories, has received the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Fiction!

Melissa Pritchard talks about her high octane curiosity and the extraordinary life of Vernon Lee with Dialogue Talk; discusses the autobiographical notes that found their way into Palmerino with Shelf Unbounddescribes the narrative triptych structure of the novel with Connotation Pressexplains why libraries have become her writing temples in Superstition Reviewshares stories about the sojourn in Italy that sparked Palmerino with ASU News and The Collagist; and reveals information about her next work of historical fiction with Rosemary and Reading Glasses.

Paul Harding and Melissa Pritchard sit down with Shelf Unbound for two illuminating conversations about the art of storytelling—where, as Paul says, “every sentence [is] its own little cosmos” and as Melissa says, freedom lies in the novelist’s ability “to use language and form in a painterly, sophisticated, even risky ways.”

Michael Coffey discusses how writing poetry led him to fiction and explains the autobiographical roots of The Business of Naming Things on Late Night Library’s “Late Night Conversation” podcast and with Kirkus Reviews, Shelf Unbound (p. 44), Book Q&As, and in two interviews with Publishers Weekly.

“Ransacking memory’s drawers will not suffice; one must consult sources to get the history and the scenography right.” Norman Lock shares his “Research Notes” for The Boy in His Winter with Necessary Fiction.

Preview The Boy in His Winter in Shelf Unbound (p. 30) and at The Collagist where Lock also delivers an “interview-in-excerpts,” channeling the voice of Huck Finn directly from the novel.

 

The NYTimes Book Review lauds Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters and other “remarkable short novels [to] have emerged in the recent past: Tinkers, by Paul Harding; Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson; The Sojourn, by Andrew Krivak; The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka. Far from slight, they all deal with large themes and subjects…the experience more akin to reading poetry or short fiction, where what is left out is at least as important as what remains.”

Read Sharona Muir’s New York Times op-eds: “Swan Lovers” and “The Crazy Puppy and the Flying Boy.”

Visit Storyville to download a selection from Love Among the Particles and read Norman Lock’s story about its inception.

“The short story can be a magical thing. It’s a breath, a moment, a captured mood.” To celebrate Short Story Month, Flavorwire asks “contemporary master of the form” and “virtuosic fabulist” Norman Lock to share a story he loves.

“Everything I do is in genuine pursuit of truth and beauty.” Austin Ratner, author of The Jump Artist, talks to the New York Times about giving up a career in medicine to move to Brooklyn and become a fiction writer.

Discover why Kirkus Reviews names Love Among the Particles a “Best Book Out This Week” by reading an excerpt from the collection at The Collagist, interviews with Norman Lock at Slice magazine and TSP: The official blog of The Story Prize, and the author’s “Story Behind” the collection at Upcoming4Me.

 

Read an NPR interview with Eduardo Halfon, then tune in to NPR’s Alt.Latino to hear him spin tunes and talk about Guatemala, Latin American cultural identity, jazz, writing, living in Florida and Nebraska, the influence of Bob Dylan, and much more.

In selecting Ghost Moth for the Publishers Weekly “Best Summer Books” issue, co-editorial director Michael Coffey explains how “this amazingly assured first novel” found its home at BLP: “After receiving rejections from 38 publishers in the U.K. and Ireland, Forbes (an actress) got a tip from Paul Harding of Tinkers fame at the Dublin Writers’ Festival, which led her to send the manuscript to Bellevue.”

Congratulations to Bill Hayes, author of The Anatomist, on receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction! In this blog post, he talks about where he was when he got the news and the artists who have provided inspiration.

The Atlantic Wire features Love Among the Particles in their Spring Book Preview. To whet your appetite for the new collection, Slice magazine recommends Norman Lock’s “Missing Persons” as the Electric Literature Story of the Week, encouraging readers to “witness the carnage and creation of a story in flux.”

In the Passover edition of The Forward, Austin Ratner writes about the legacy of the Warsaw Ghetto, the psychology of bigotry, and the parable he found within Edward Reicher’s memoir, A Country of Ash, musing “that there would perhaps be fewer great sins in the world if people were not so frantic to purify themselves of small ones.”

Listen in on a very fun conversation with Tim Horvath and Brad Listi on the Other People podcast. Topics include their Midwestern childhood, bridge climbing in New York, the birthday they both share with Herman Melville, Dom DeLuise, and Jerry Garcia, and Tim’s “red hot” Understories.

Passion. Vision. Courage. Chance. BLP Publisher Erika Goldman and Akashic Books Managing Editor Johanna Ingalls discuss independent publishing and the unmistakable joy readers bring to all our endeavors: “When you put something out there that you’re passionate about and other people respond . . . there’s nothing like it.”

Congratulations to Melissa Pritchard on her ASU Faculty Achievement Teaching Award! Melissa is the author of Palmerino and The Odditoriumand the founder of the Ashton Goodman Fund to support the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP), an award-winning online mentoring program connecting American women writers with Afghan women writers.

Irish author Michèle Forbes had trouble finding a publisher for her debut novel, Ghost Moth, until she sent her manuscript to Bellevue Literary Press. Read her story in the Irish Times and the find out more about its very happy ending in The Bookseller.

Bellevue Literary Press board member Jan Vilcek, MD, PhD receives the National Medal of Technology and Innovation

“It’s clearer than ever that our future as a nation depends on keeping th[e] spirit of curiosity and innovation alive in our time. These honorees are at the forefront of that mission.”

—President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama honored Jan Vilcek, MD, PhD with a prestigious National Medal of Technology and Innovation during a White House awards ceremony on February 1. This year eleven individuals received this medal, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Vilcek for his service on our board—and for the contributions he has made to the arts and science communities throughout his extraordinary career.


Bellevue Literary Press is a finalist for AWP’s Small Press Publisher Award—an annual prize for nonprofit publishers that honors the “publication of consistently excellent work.” Winners will be announced this March at the AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair in Boston.

Melissa Pritchard talks about The Odditorium and the relationship between her humanitarian work and her writing with the Southeast Review; the ways in which faith intersects with creativity with IMAGE: Art, Faith, Mystery; and how she brings passion and imagination to historical fiction with Kirkus Reviews and ASU News.

Eduardo Halfon talks about his life and work with the Jewish Journal, on the BBC program The Strand, and in these videos from the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s “Writer’s Block” series and the UNESCO City of Literature “On the Fly: Writers on Writing” series.

Find out what happens when Eduardo Halfon stops by BookCourt to sign copies of Monastery.

Find out why Eduardo Halfon writes fiction exclusively in Spanish (via The Believer), the remarkable story behind The Polish Boxer’s path to English publication (via New Spanish Books), and how strange it is to be “Translated from English to English, by Way of Spanish” (via Words Without Borders). Discover more about The Polish Boxer and Eduardo Halfon via interviews with Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics, Sampsonia Way, and Untitled Books.

In a glowing review, the New York Times Book Review calls Eduardo Halfon’s The Polish Boxer both “funny and revelatory,” pointing out that the author himself is as nomadic as his characters. In this far ranging interview with Dazed & Confused, Halfon reports from the road.

“A Book Can Change the World”: Gordon Weiss on The Cage

As a publisher, it is one thing to believe that our books can change the world, but it’s an extraordinary feeling when those responsible for focusing attention on global affairs discover a book that guides their thinking. With The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers, we have published such a book. As diplomat Charles Petrie, who investigated the United Nation’s role and responsibilities during the Sri Lankan conflict, said:

“When I was commissioned to do this report, the first thing I was handed was a copy of The Cage. Weiss’s scrupulously balanced account should serve as a guidepost for decision-makers and scholars of international affairs. A book can change the world.”

Read more from Gordon Weiss about why he wrote The Cage:

My objective in writing The Cage was to challenge the myth that few civilians had been killed during the crushing of the Tamil Tigers by Sri Lankan government forces in 2009. I wanted to argue that given the nature of the long civil war, it was in some sense predictable that the conclusion of the war would be extremely vicious.

I had also been thinking about, or dealing with, many of the matters I discuss in this book in my daily work with the United Nations: human rights, international law, war, insurgency groups, nationalism, idealism, historical events, global currents, and the media, so The Cage was also an opportunity to distill some of those ideas, and bring them to bear on the topic at hand. Continue reading…


For the bibliophile on your holiday gift list… Los Angeles Times literary critic David Ulin recommends three books (including Eduardo Halfon’s The Polish Boxer) ideal for readers fascinated by the boundaries between truth and imagination.

Gordon Weiss provides perspective about human rights abuses and the ongoing war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka with Radio New Zealand and on a harrowing ABC broadcast detailing new allegations of torture.

A very powerful op-ed by Gordon Weiss about the United Nation’s Petrie Report and its “second chance to right wrongs on Sri Lanka” appears in The Australian. Listen to him discuss this breaking news story with ABC Radio and read more from him at the BBC.

Literature as Life’s Laboratory: Welcome to Our New Website

Thanks to the dedicated staff at Sonnet Media, we now have a place to share all the stories behind the books we publish. Over the coming months, we’ll be adding Q&As with our authors, excerpts from their books, reading group guides, videos, and more. We are also excited to unveil our new logo, which impressed author Jonathan D. Moreno as being an accurate reflection of our belief that literature is indeed life’s laboratory. We hope you’ll visit us often to enjoy our latest concoctions.

While we’re thrilled to have found a new home online, it may be many weeks before we can return to our office in Bellevue Hospital Center. In the New England Journal of Medicine, our board member Eric Manheimer offers a personal reflection on Hurricane Sandy, aptly quoting Theodore Rothke in his epigraph: “In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”

Also in the New England Journal of Medicine, Danielle Ofri, our board member and the editor of The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, recounts the extraordinary efforts of New York University Medical Center staff in the wake of the hurricane and beautifully evokes the reason we are so proud to be a part of the NYUMC community:

“Bellevue’s enormity is more than its imposing physical presence, more than its legacy as the oldest public hospital in the country, more than its outsized reputation in popular culture. Its grandeur resides in its status as a living, breathing medical organism. It possesses a gritty industriousness and a cacophonous vitality. The ferocious loyalty it has engendered for the past 276 years is apparent in its staff as well as its patients. Many of us have spent our entire working lives at Bellevue and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

We can’t wait to get back.

UPDATE: We are thrilled to announce, that as of March 29, 2013, we have returned to our offices in Bellevue Hospital.

 


Over the Veterans Day weekend, Andrew Krivak accepted the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for The Sojourn and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Listen to him discuss the family history that inspired the novel with Robin Young on WBUR’s “Here and Now”

Northern California independent booksellers are buzzing about Eduardo Halfon’s The Polish Boxer! Copperfield’s Books and Mrs. Dalloway’s recommend the novel as a “Top Shelf” title in the San Francisco Chronicle and Publishers Weekly reports that it was among the “most talked about books” at the NCIBA fall trade show.

Read a new story from Norman Lock in Construction Magazine, a marvelous animated tale at Locus Novus: A Synthesis of Text, Image, Motion and Sound, and fantastic scenarios for experimental videos at Visual Artbeat magazine.

Jonathan Moreno talks to Salon, answers “9 ½ Questions” at The Atlantic, and delves into the intersection between bioethics and politics on Point of Inquiry

Jonathan D. Moreno discusses biopreparedness on FOX News and pens an op-ed with Senator Tom Daschle on the 10th anniversary of the anthrax attacks at Politico.

Listen to an interview with the author on WHYY’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and on KUOW’s Weekday.

Read an excerpt from Inukshuk and a self-interview with Gregory Spatz at The Nervous Breakdown.

Read about Gregory Spatz’s relationship to Sir John Franklin at Native Home of Hope, find out how Spatz’s path to writing began at an independent bookstore in San Rafael, California (via NW Book Lovers), and explore the research behind Inukshuk at Necessary Fiction and in Glimmer Train.

Discover how Gregory Spatz persisted through years of New Yorker rejections at The Quivering Pen and why the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony is “the most exquisitely, perfectly sad pieces of music [he has] ever heard” (via New England Review).

 

Tim Horvath discusses Understories with the Boston Globe, Bloom, and The Nervous Breakdownmuses on his inspirations at TSP: The official blog of The Story Prize; explains his offbeat research for the collection at Necessary Fictionanswers questions at Monkeybicycleoffers reading recommendations at The Short Formcontributes a guest post for Robert Lopez’ “No News Today” series; and talks to The Philadelphia Review of Book’s Andrew Ervin in a three way conversation with Gabriel Blackwell and Jensen Beach (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Visit Storyville to download a selection from Understories and read Tim Horvath’s story about its inception.