Monday, May 2, 2011
The Color of Night, among other things
I am a little shocked to see that it has been almost a month since my last post. In spite of my good intentions I seem to keep wandering away from the blog. I've been literally wandering, in fact, which is one of the reasons I've neglected BitterGrace Notes. At the moment, I'm sitting in a nice little hotel in Glasgow, not far from Kelvingrove. Glasgow is beautiful now, sunny and reasonably warm, flowers in bloom everywhere--quite different from my last visit in gloomy, cold December. This is a great city in any season, though. Since I arrived last week, there have been two great global media frenzies (the Will & Kate nuptials and the assassination of Osama bin Laden), both of which seem to have left Glaswegians completely unmoved. I love that.
Before I hopped across the Atlantic, I spent a few days in Chattanooga, covering the Conference on Southern Literature for Chapter 16. (My posts are here, here and here.) It's a great conference, very small and friendly, and features members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Wendell Berry, Allan Gurganus, Dorothy Allison, Ann Patchett and Natasha Trethewey were just a few of the names on the line-up. It's held every 2 years, and any Southern lit fan should attend at least once. Mark your calendars for 2013.
The panther-wielding maenad who adorns this post is there in honor of a new novel by one of the writers featured at the conference, Madison Smartt Bell. I interviewed Bell about The Color of Night back in February, and now that the book's out I've written a review. (You gotta read at least one to find out what maenads have to do with it.) I can't recommend Bell's brilliant little book highly enough. It'll scare you and make you think, not necessarily in that order.
Furious maenad, 490-480 BCE