Donald Breckenridge Reading in Brooklyn, NY

 

Godine author Donald Breckenridge will be reading from his new book, And Then (Godine, 2017) at the Spoonbill Studio in Brooklyn, NY on October 3rd from 7-8pm.

And Then is a ghost story, telling tales about the people that come and go from our lives and the indelible marks they leave. Opening with a vignette describing Jean Rouch’s short film Gare du Nord, Breckenridge sets a deeply unsentimental tone, both necessary to and greatly in opposition with his descriptions of his father’s slow and deliberate death. Interwoven are the stories of a young woman’s hopeful arrival in New York, a young man’s voyeuristic summer spent housesitting for his professor, and a soldier who never made it out of Vietnam. What they all have in common is a deep preoccupation with the way lives resonate and connect, an emotionally honest love story about how we relate to others and ourselves.

Donald Breckenridge lives in Brooklyn with his spouse, Johannah Rodgers. He is the Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, Co-Founder and Co-Editor of InTranslation, and the Managing Editor of Red Dust Books. He has written four novels, edited two fiction anthologies, and introduced the NYRB Classics edition of Henri Duchemin and His Shadows by Emmanuel Bove.

For more information about the reading series, including directions to the venue, look here.

New York Times Review of The Screaming Chef

A review of Godine title, The Screaming Chef, appeared in The New York Times on Friday. The Screaming Chef, written by Peter Ackerman and illustrated by Max Dalton, follows a young boy with a love for food, who will not stop screaming unless he is pacified by fine cuisine. Finally, tired of the noise, his parents abdicate their cooking responsibilities to him, and eventually, the boy’s talent is so great that they are prompted to open a restaurant with him as the head chef. When things start to go awry, the boy’s frustration grows: will his temper win, or the food?

The New York Times writes,

In a stylish world of midcentury modern décor, a boy screams nonstop. His parents are out of ideas. Realizing he never shrieks when he eats, they cook him amazing food, but he grows huge. Soon he’s cooking himself and opens a fancy restaurant. The customers flock, but his frustration rises. The screaming starts again, until he adds singing to his repertoire. Ackerman and Dalton (“The Lonely Phone Booth”) have cooked up something witty and, as an example of the parental art of redirecting, perhaps inadvertently wise.

Peter Ackerman has made two books with Max Dalton. Their first book, The Lonely Phone Booth, was selected for the Smithsonian’s 2010 Notable Books for Children and adapted and produced as a musical at the Manhattan Children’s Theater. Peter co-wrote the movies Ice Age and Ice Age 3. Currently he is a writer on the TV show The Americans, and his web-series The Go Getters can be seen on www.thegogetters.net.

Max Dalton lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has been drawing since he was two or three years old. He is the illustrator of The Lonely Phone Booth The Lonely Typewriterand Extreme Opposites.

Happy birthday, Henry David Thoreau, and happy summer, everyone!

In honor of Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday earlier this month, and in honor of the lovely summer weather, we wanted to highlight some books that fit the season and carry on Thoreau’s legacy. Thoreau is well known for Walden, a book chronicling his year of living alone in nature, and of Cape Cod, a collection of his reflections on those beaches. In both, he uses his experiences in nature as a way of meditating on life’s big questions

Robert Finch follows in his footsteps, walking along miles of the Cape Cod shoreline. He has chronicled some of his rambles in Outlands: Journeys to the Outer Edges of Cape Cod. In this collection of essays, Finch writes of moments of isolation, even danger, as on one walk he finds himself miles from the nearest person but near some agitated harbor seals. Finch uses these moments to probe his, and our, responses to these moments in nature.

However, the best-known successor of Thoreau is Henry Beston, whose Herbs and the Earth and The Best of Beston Godine has had the honor of publishing. Beston is a meticulous observer who has written on a wide variety of places, including (of course) Cape Cod, but stretching to the St. Lawrence River and beyond.

Beston’s thoughtful nature writing is close to home in Herbs and the Earth, where he uses gardening as a way to focus his thoughts on what he grows and its deep roots in areas like history, religion, and medicine.

You can learn more about Beston, the man from Daniel G. Payne’s scrupulously researched and incredibly readable biography, Orion on the Dunes. Payne tracks Beston’s career and development, from his beginnings as Henry Sheahan, a World War I soldier who went on to write children’s stories, to the pioneering conservationist and iconic nature writer as we know him.

Happy birthday, Henry David Thoreau, and may your legacy live on!

 

SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS Movie Coming to the US!

The British film is coming to select US theaters on July 21

Last summer, author Arthur Ransome’s beloved children’s book, Swallows and Amazons, was released as a movie in the United Kingdom, and this summer, it’s coming to select theaters in the United States on July 21st. The film will also be available on Starz beginning in October.

Ransome wrote Swallows and Amazons in 1930, and it was a hit, with its innocence, joy in the pleasures of sailing, and above all, the Walker children’s sense of adventure. The book was so popular that Ransome went on to write eleven more, creating a series that is just as beloved today.

Swallows and Amazons follows the four Walker children: Susan, Roger, John, and Titty (whose name has been changed to Tatty in the film, sparking controversy). They visit England’s Lake District for the summer and sail to a small island in a dinghy named Swallow. The siblings love sailing so much they take the boat’s name for themselves, and they claim the island as theirs. However, they have one problem: they’ve been beaten by Peggy and Nancy Blackett, copilots of their own dinghy called Amazon, so the children battle it out for control of the island.

Samuel Goldwyn Films, along with Orion Pictures, have the North American rights to the Swallows and Amazons film. Peter Goldwyn, Goldwyn’s president, said “I believe it’s important to bring a good family film to the market, and that’s what I found in Swallows and Amazons… The film has a talented cast, and I know this will be a classic like the original book.”

Goldwyn is certainly right about the cast; it features actors such as Andrew Scott, best known for his role as Jim Moriarty in Sherlock, and Kelly MacDonald, who starred as Margaret Thompson in Boardwalk Empire and was the voice of Merida in Brave.

Goldwyn’s also right about the movie being a classic. In the United Kingdom, critics loved it. The Telegraph said “there’s a period-appropriate honesty to it…that sets it apart from any other family film you’ll see this summer.” Variety calls it a “very charming…entirely respectable adventure.” We think you’ll like it, too.