Fri, 1 May 2009
Originally from Vancouver, Professor Rohan Maitzen has an Honours B.A. in English and History from the University of British Columbia and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University. Since 1995, she has been a member of Dalhousie University’s English Department.
I had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ Rohan online, in the comments section of her blog Novel Readings. I admire her smooth flowing, erudite prose and her reaching out to an audience wider than just those sitting in her classroom, as well as her grappling with issues about who the academic should address, and how literature should be taught.
Rohan was in Ottawa recently for a ‘Learneds’ conference. I got to meet her in person, and interview her, off the cuff , one on one, about the life and lessons found in Middlemarch. Please listen here:
Thu, 19 February 2009
Jessa Crispin is editor and founder of Bookslut.com " a monthly web magazine and daily blog dedicated to those who love to read. We provide a constant supply of news, reviews, commentary, insight, and more than occasional opinions." Author Jana Martin describes her this way:
"Certainly she’s a reader, a great reader, and she knows how to make one good party after another, whether in a beer-poster-clad upstairs room at the Hopleaf or Bookslut. She’s a hostess for all of us, a sundress’d impressario. In that way she belongs on the same hearty category as Mike McGonigal: self-made, peripatetic, generous but with standards and boundaries. The other thing is that, like McGonigal, she gives off a slightly timeless vibe: a bit San Francisco 1950s, a bit Chianti in Greenwich Village, a bit rockabilly, a bit Christina’s World."
We met at her home recently in Chicago, and talked about, among other things, the origins of Bookslut, her underemployment at Planned Parenthood, ex-boyfriends, blog advertising, hiring writers, shrinking book review sections, writing for oneself, inexplicable successes, the name ‘Bookslut’ and thoughts of changing it, Somerset Maugham, favourite novels, and the future of blogs.
Copyright © 2009 by Nigel Beale. www.nigelbeale.com
Sun, 1 June 2008
Frank Wilson has been reviewing books professionally since October, 1964. For most of the past decade he was Books Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, given to retaining committed bloggers (e.g. Mark Sarvas, Scott Esposito, Ed Champion) to review books. He retired recently. About five years ago he started blogging at Books Inq. It is one of the most successful blogs in the literary blogosphere.
I interviewed Frank at his home in Philadelphia recently. We talk about how he established his blog, about the potential and influence of this medium, about the benefits of interactivity and connection and roundtables; Maxine Clarke’s crime fiction reviews; the provision of filtering services, shared links and interests; kindred spirits; embedding poetry and essays, and loneliness; about the strange side effects of reading and how passive entertainment becomes unwatchable, how most traditional media eschew feedback; what he looks for in book reviewers; Tchaikovsky’s unknown correspondent; the book’s connection to life; the nature of discourse; Instapundit and ‘instalanches;’ and those blogs he goes to every morning.
Please listen here: