Well, this was fun . . . .! (April 1, 2017)
So pleased by this review of Eleven Hours by critic Lucy Scholes, coinciding with the paperback release in the UK. I enjoyed Scholes's comment that the novel displayed "audacity," as well as her description of it as "delightfully stomach-churning" (!). Not to mention this: "[Erens's] most impressive skill is the effortless way she transforms the commonplace into the captivating."
Happily, I can't claim to have been entirely overlooked with Eleven Hours this year--but if you wanna say I'm far from a household name, sure, I'll go there! I love this small, intimate list, particularly because a number of writers I personally know & greatly respect are on it, along with others I haven't met but who have really impressed me.
Another interview, this time at Bloom, a site focusing on authors who published their first book after age forty. I converse with the wonderful Terry Hong; we touch on writing across gender/sexuality/race, etc.
I've been named the recipient of the 2017 Maplewood Literary Award, a prize given as part of the annual Ideas Festival taking place each March and April in Maplewood, NJ. Former recipients of the prize include Paul Auster and Dan Barry. As a long-time resident of the community and an enthusiastic user of the Maplewood Memorial Library, which sponsors the festival, I am especially delighted.
I seem to be getting some special love from the Huffington Post lately. First I was included in this list of "required reading": Colson Whitehead! Chang-Rae Lee! Eileen Myles! Karen Russell! Then they published their "Ultimate Feminist Back-to-School Reading List" and I am in that too: Joan Didion! Elena Ferrante! Helen Oyeyemi! Lynda Barry!
Better late than never! "Beautiful and brutal, Pamela Erens’s (The Virgins) third novel is a revelatory meditation on relationships – between adults, lovers, friends, parents, and children of all ages. . . . Verdict: A quick, intense, and viscerally electrifying story . . . libraries should order immediately."
Could I be more pleased? From the Sunday Herald (Scotland): "This is an immensely powerful, cannot-look-away novel of heart and bone and muscle and blood. The war novel has a rival, and it is breathtaking."
A thoughtful and thorough review, with a nice conclusion: "Eleven Hours shows childbirth without distaste or romance, as a uniquely agonizing and dangerous event that so often leads, somehow, to joy."
In her review, Maureen Corrigan of Fresh Air calls Eleven Hours "a novel about the ultimate female adventure . . . fierce and vivid in its depiction of the exhaustion of the spirit and the rending of the flesh during childbirth . . . tough and emotionally authentic."
In the Wall Street Journal, Sam Sacks calls Eleven Hours "exhilarating." He adds: "in the heart-in-throat climax, Ms. Erens maintains her poise and precision. The writing is candid without being sensational, detailed without being clinical. This admirable novel reminds us that even when childbirth is overseen by caring professionals in state-of-the-art facilities, it still arrives on waves of blood." (Most of this review is behind a paywall for non-subscribers.)