Author

Angela Palm

Angela Palm has 13 articles published.

Angela Palm's forthcoming essay collection, Riverine, is the recipient of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. The book will be published by Graywolf Press in spring 2016. Her first book, an anthology of literature called Please Do Not Remove, was published by Wind Ridge Books (2014). Angela's work also appears in apt, Hippocampus, Paper Darts, Midwestern Gothic, Sundog Lit, Prick of the Spindle, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. Angela's essay, “The Devolution of Cake,” and her short story, “Mrs. Greenwood’s Jelly,” were both nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Fabulous literary spring break destinations

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I was swapping ideas one night with a friend about where we would go for an inspirational weekend of no-costs-barred fun, if we could. Winter was dragging. The college kids at the school where he taught were starting to plan their spring break and we were way too old for that. “Someplace where writers would go,” I said. “Someplace strange, but great.” I didn’t want a beach trip or some international adventure. I just wanted to be inspired and see something new. My friend had just told me about the day he’d spent in France when he had accidentally found himself touring Gertrude Stein’s famous apartment, which had been the epicenter of the literary salon scene in 1920s Paris. In…

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Dirty Chick takes urban farming to whole new level

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I live in Vermont, where locavore hipsters and 30- and 40-something environmentally conscious folks raise urban chickens on every other block. Some of them even raise bees, make their own goat cheese, concoct good-for-you tonics chock full of herbs grown in mason jars that line their window sills, and craft their own beer. My husband and I have, on more than one occasion, been asked to chicken-sit for friends, a task whose chores may range from simply checking on and feeding the hens to gathering eggs to administering fowl-friendly antibiotics to ill, quarantined chickens. While the animals make adorable additions to the neighborhood—and hey, I love fresh eggs as much as the next gal—I’ve seen enough chicken shit to know…

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Is Gone with the Wind a classic or a chestnut from a more prejudiced time?

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This February marks the 75th anniversary of Gone with the Wind’s 1940 all-out Oscars grab. That year, the film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography in Color, and Best Writing/Screenplay. Additionally, Victor Fleming took an Oscar home for Best Director. Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara, won Best Actress in a Leading Role. And, most importantly, given the film’s backdrop of America’s Civil War and Reconstruction eras, Hattie McDaniel took home an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, making her the first African American to be nominated for and win an Academy Award.   With the 2015 Oscars right around the corner, Gone with the Wind—a film often categorized…

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Megan Mayhew Bergman on Almost Famous Women

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In her second short story collection, Almost Famous Women (Scribner, January 2015), author Megan Mayhew Bergman looks beyond the spotlight often shone on women with whom we are already familiar and focuses her vital writing on those women whose fame has been all but lost to history. This remarkable collection is both tempered and generous, holding back just enough to make the reader long to know more about each story’s subject while offering significant depth of character and story within a span of about 20 pages. The collection does not explore the life and times of the Audrey Hepburns or Patti Smiths of the world, but instead finds the extraordinary in the likes of Norma Millay, sister of poet Edna…

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Melissa Falcon Field and the risks of social media

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Melissa Falcon Field alights on the literary fiction scene with her spell-binding debut novel, What Burns Away (Sourcebooks Landmark, January 2015). In a delicately woven tale of temptation and loyalty, new mom and protagonist Claire Spruce’s high school sweetheart resurfaces via social media at a vulnerable time in her life. Claire’s husband, a career-driven cardiac surgeon, is usually hospital-bound when she most needs his support as she faces the daily challenges of raising the couple’s young son and trying to settle into a life in frigid Wisconsin as a reluctant Eastern seacoast transplant. What Burns Away will hit close to home for today’s parents, challenging the reader’s understanding of a new mother’s complicated feelings about herself, her child, her partner,…

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A love-song to libraries that inspired fantastic travels of the mind

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My debut book, Please Do Not Remove (Wind Ridge Books 2014), is an anthology of prose and poetry inspired by old library check out cards. The book’s premise began as a compulsion akin to Maggie Nelson’s attraction to blue, of which she writes in Bluets, “Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color… It began slowly. An appreciation, an affinity. Then, one day, it became more serious. Then (looking into an empty teacup, its bottom stained with thin brown excrement coiled into the shape of a sea horse) it become somehow personal.” I was perusing etsy.com at midnight, looking for a Secret Santa gift for a fellow writer, when my obsession began.…

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Randy Susan Meyers talks about Accidents of Marriage, a gut-punching family drama

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In her third novel, Accidents of Marriage (Atria Books, 2015), Randy Susan Meyers weaves a compelling tale of domestic abuse and traumatic brain injury as told through the very different perspectives of three family members—two parents and their teenage daughter. Meyers stands at the center of marital distress, surveys the scene, assesses the damage, and recounts it with unflinching honesty and clarity. Meyers is also the author of two previously bestselling novels, The Comfort of Lies (2014) and The Murderer’s Daughters (2011). Recently, BookTrib caught up with the author of Accidents of Marriage, a gut-punching family drama that tackles a slew of complicated issues. BOOKTRIB: One of the many strengths of Accidents of Marriage is your ability to successfully create multiple…

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Alison Lurie decodes the messages that buildings send in The Language of Houses

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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alison Lurie proves once again that her view of the world is sharper than most with her latest book, The Language of Houses ( Delphinium Books, September). The book comes 30 years after its predecessor, The Language of Clothes, applying that book’s method of thought to houses in Lurie’s trademark crisp, smart prose style. But it’s not just houses that Houses examines. The Language of Houses thoughtfully considers the messages sent by all of the types of buildings, structures, and abodes that humans occupy—including schools, malls, office buildings, prisons, restaurants, and hotels. Lurie sees each of these “houses” as an accumulation of information meant to suggest particular moods and expectations and to elicit certain types of behaviors…

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Lev Grossman discusses weaving the power of literary fiction into fantasy

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Lev Grossman’s latest novel, The Magician’s Land, hits shelves this week, marking the triumphant close of his New York Times bestselling fantasy trilogy. The trilogy is no doubt a beacon on the current rising tide in fantasy readership and writership, a genre which Grossman says is evolving quickly. It’s a suprise to some that Grossman’s novels didn’t follow in his parents’ well-tread literary footsteps (he’s the son of poet Allen Grossman and novelist Judith Grossman), as well as the trajectory of his own academic background. A graduate of both Yale and Harvard, Grossman was surprised by this himself, noting the book Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke as one that fueled the start of his trilogy. “[That book] was a fantasy…

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Four flash novels for fast times

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The trouble with traditionally structured novels is they no longer seem to fit easily into the fast-paced, electronically charged lives of would-be readers, let alone the lives of committed novel readers. Don’t worry, I’m not about to write that the novel is dying. It’s not. I’ve spent hundreds of hours of my life submerged in 600-page novels. Maybe even thousands. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I no longer always have the time or the motivation to dedicate a weekend of my life to a long, dense read. And I’m also well aware of the parallel that exists between my shrinking attention span and the amount of time I spend in a Netflix vortex. Enter, novel in…

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Upcycle books to show your style

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As humans, we are always looking for ways to express our individuality, to stand out, and to separate ourselves from the next person. Some of us get tattoos or piercings to make a statement about who we are and what represents us, while some of us accessorize our homes or buy trendy or retro clothing to show the world who we are. I’ve got a new way to up your individual style (and it doesn’t involve permanent inking). If books and sustainability are among your top interests, then you’ll enjoy giving some of the upcycled treasures and do-it-yourself projects I’ve found a try—because each one is made from books! If you want to add a literary splash to your living…

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Apps to get those flabby writing muscles in shape in just four weeks

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You’ve thought about writing, and you’ve got some juicy stories you’d like to tell. But when you sit down to write, you end up staring at a blank page, chewing on your pen cap, or watching the cursor flash in front of you. The words just don’t come naturally; you give up and, instead, end up googling paddle board yoga poses or texting your grandma. Synonymous with adventure, summer is the perfect time to make changes and push yourself to succeed at new challenges. Filling a blank page with your words can be intimidating—even experienced writers can feel the pressure to produce when they sit down to write. If you’ve thought about trying your hand at writing this summer, we’ve…

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Coming of age on the road to rapture

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It’s hard to convince a thirty-something woman to willingly revisit the teenage experience, even another girl’s story and especially with the added complexity of today’s technology. A thirty-something woman knows too well what awaits her in those pages—self-doubt, self-wonder, and lack of foresight to start; the fine balance between limitless possibility and assured impossibility; the question of sexual attractiveness; smart phones. (Thank goodness those weren’t an option in 1996.) But despite whatever implications a coming-of-age story might suggest, veteran short story writer Mary Miller has managed to portray hers in a way that is pleasantly prickly and not at all expected, in this thirty-something’s opinion. In her debut novel, The Last Days of California (Norton/Liveright, January), Miller delivers a succinct, page-turning…

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