7 October 2012

Checkerboard Films’s documentary James Salter: A Sport and a Pastime, will be screening at the Hamptons International Film Festival today — the film’s US premiere (and my first film credit)!

More info here.


14 August 2012

At The Millions today, my Q&A with James Salter, on the occasion of the release of A Sport and Pastime and Solo Faces in e-book format, by Open Road Media.  I re-read Solo Faces last month and admired it even more: that signature omniscient narration is not only unusual, but simply gorgeous in its confidence, its simplicity.

If you missed my profile of JS in Tin House last winter, you might enjoy this Q&A, the intro to which rehashes a little of how I first came in contact with Salter, back in 2010.  It’s been a great privilege to interact with him.  At 87, he’s having an inspiringly productive year, filled with the recognition and acclaim he deserves.

11 January 2012

Two things: an essay and a blog post.

My essay on James Salter, “In the Light Where Art and Longing Meet: My Day With James Salter,” is in the current print issue of Tin House Magazine.  I couldn’t be more tickled.  The project began almost exactly two years ago(!) — with my piece at The Millions (on sex writing by “great” male writers), a stunning email from JS himself, and an ensuing correspondence over the following year.  Other amazing authors in this issue, themed “Beauty” — Marilynne Robinson, Michel Houellebecq, Eric Puchner, Paul Willems, Michelle Widgen, Aimee Bender on artist Amy Cutler, and more.

I also have a blog post, “Living and Learning in Bookstores,” as part of Tin House‘s “Book Clubbing” blog series — wherein I describe the independent bookstores in NYC that I love, and the unassuming bookstore in Seattle where I embarked on my literary education, many lifetimes (although really not that many years) ago. Enjoy!

11 October 2011

At the New York Review of Books, James Salter reviews Paul Hendrickson‘s Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.  A rather clunky title for a book that sounds well worth reading if you are a fan of the man, or at least the work.

This I did not know about Hemingway’s son Gregory:

[I]n the final riveting act, there enters a grotesque, almost demonic figure, tortured, mesmerizing, a doctor with the prodigious wreckage of three wives, seven or eight children, alcohol, drugs, and adultery trailing behind him, a transvestite who finally has a sex change operation and ends up dying in jail: the always troubled, gifted youngest son, Gregory Hemingway.

He is last seen sitting on the curb in Key Biscayne one morning after having been arrested the night before trying to get through a security gate. He’s in a hospital gown but otherwise naked with some clothes and black high heels bunched in one hand. He had streaked, almost whitish hair that morning, painted toenails, and as the police approached was trying to put on a flowered thong. Five days later he died of a heart attack while being held in a Women’s Detention Center. He was listed as Gloria Hemingway. This was in 2001; he was sixty-nine years old.

More here.


21 July 2011

This spring I had the great privilege of being interviewed for “James Salter: A Sport and a Pastime,” a new documentary from Checkerboard Films — directed and produced by Sandy Gotham Meehan and Edgar B. Howard, also directed and edited by Tom Piper.  It was a pleasure to speak on film about my admiration for Salter’s work.

Others featured in the film include the late Reynolds Price (whose on-camera readings from A Sport and a Pastime are unforgettable), Robert Redford, Nick Antosca, Salter’s daughter Nina Salter (a publisher in Paris), several other editors, writers, and friends, and, of course, Jim Salter himself.

You can purchase the DVD of the film directly from Checkerboard here.

I also had the privilege of attending the film’s premiere back in May.  Thanks to Checkerboard’s Executive Director Muffie Dunn for sending along these photos from the event.  A most memorable evening…

Greeting Jim Salter


Listening to Ed Hirsch tell a great story about another Salter admirer, Susan Sontag

*After the screening, with director Ed Howard

8 April 2011

The Paris Review online has published a lovely series of essays on James Salter – by Jhumpa Lahiri, Porochista Khakpour, Ian Crouch, Geoff Dyer, and more.  All this leading up to their annual Spring Revel, where Salter will be honored with their Hadada Prize.

If you’ve been in and around my blog, you know how I feel about Mr. Salter.  It all started with A Sport and a Pastime, a few years back, and I’ve read all his work since (the stories perhaps amaze me most).  I spent a very memorable day with him at his home in Bridgehampton last winter, and I’ve written (am in the process of revising) a profile, which will appear in Tin House in December 2011.

Also, Checkerboard Films is making a documentary on Salter, which will premiere at an event in late May.  If I make the cut, you’ll see me as a talking head.

I’m so delighted to see this “writer’s writer” receive (at 85) all the recognition and accolades he deserves.

12 March 2011

These links at Bookforum’s Omnivore, under the topic “Is There Anything Good About Men?“, are all smart and fascinating.  Discussions around biology v. sociology, instinct and culture, sex and relationships and economics, from male and female perspectives.

Are men and women in crisis? is the question at the heart of these discussions.  Perhaps leaning more toward the crisis belonging to men, but with the implication that if men don’t know who they are or how to be in modern society, then women suffer equally.

I’m thinking about modern male-hood for a few reasons: a recent profile I wrote on James Salter; my own fiction, which currently evolves around two male characters; and my current addiction to “Friday Night Lights” (thanks, Maud Newton).   More, btw, on FNL, in a later post.