It was nice to see Eleven Hours show up in the Match Book column's recommendations to a reader who wanted "a good book to read in the last months of my first pregnancy"--nothing "patronizing" or "preaching" or that would leave her "despairing and enraged." And I applaud the columnist's inclusion in her answer of Elisa Albert's AFTER BIRTH, Rivka Galchen's LITTLE LABORS, and Louise Erdrich's THE BLUE JAY'S DANCE (which a dear friend in fact gave me during my first pregnancy)..
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."