Virtual Memories – Podcast Episode 126 – People From Away

Elizabeth HandArticles

Award-winning author Elizabeth Hand joins the Virtual Memories Show to talk about her new novel, Wylding Hall! We also talk about her need to try different genres, that pigeonholing process, how abandoning the supernatural for her Cass Neary novels was like working without a net, how her success at writing may be attributable to the Helsinki Bus Syndrome, what it … Read More

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and ‘The Fellowship’ of fantasy writers

Elizabeth HandArticles, Los Angeles Times

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (Haywood Magee / Getty Images)

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (Haywood Magee / Getty Images) In a pub in Oxford there lived some writers. Not nasty, dirty decadent writers, whose books were filled with intimations of sex and an oozy smell, nor yet dry, bare Modernists with a horror of heroics or fantastical things: These Oxford writers were Inklings, and that means heterosexual white male Christians … Read More

Book World: ‘Finders Keepers’ by Stephen King

Elizabeth HandArticles, Washington Post

(Scribner/Scribner)

(Scribner/Scribner) Stephen King’s superb new stay-up-all-night thriller, “Finders Keepers,” is a sly, often poignant tale of literary obsession that recalls the themes of his classic 1987 novel “Misery.” At the center of this story is John Rothstein, a novelist whom Time magazine once crowned “America’s Reclusive Genius.” His best-selling trilogy — “The Runner,” “The Runner Sees Action” and “The Runner … Read More

Laura van den Berg’s ‘Find Me’ captures a memorable apocalypse

Elizabeth HandArticles, Los Angeles Times

Author Laura Van den Berg (Paul Yoon, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux)

Author Laura Van den Berg (Paul Yoon, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux) Ninety-five years ago T.S. Eliot published “The Wasteland,” one of the first and bleakest visions of a shattered modern world. Nearly a century later, we’re awash in fictional dystopias. Science fiction writers tilled this stony ground for decades before the current vogue for grim variants of the Way We Live … Read More

‘The Last American Vampire,’ by Seth Grahame-Smith

Elizabeth HandArticles, Washington Post

History buffs with a sense of humor and an unslaked thirst for the macabre will find much to savor in “The Last American Vampire,” Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest, delightfully loopy riff on our nation’s past. The novel takes up where its predecessor, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (2010 ), left off, in the aftermath of the defeat of the Confederacy and Lincoln’s … Read More

Stephen King’s ‘Revival’ is a dazzling, electric tale

Elizabeth HandArticles, Newstoday

REVIVAL, by Stephen King. Scribner. 403 pp. $30. Stephen King’s splendid new novel, “Revival,” offers the atavistic pleasure of drawing closer to a campfire in the dark to hear a tale recounted by someone who knows exactly how to make every listener’s flesh crawl when he whispers, “Don’t look behind you.” “Revival” opens in rural Harlow, Maine, in the early … Read More

‘American Grotesque’ resurrects William Mortensen’s photos

Elizabeth HandArticles, Los Angeles Times

It’s hard to imagine two 20th century American photographers more diametrically opposed than the macabre visionary William Mortensen and Ansel Adams, poster boy for so-called straight photography. Google Ansel Adams and you get a Sierra Club Calendar-ready black-and-white photo of the Grand Tetons. Do the same for William Mortensen and you get what appears to be an etching of a … Read More

Book review: ‘Revival,’ by Stephen King

Elizabeth HandArticles, Washington Post

“Revival” is Stephen King’s latest novel. (Scribner) Stephen King’s splendid new novel, “Revival,” offers the atavistic pleasure of drawing closer to a campfire in the dark to hear a tale recounted by someone who knows exactly how to make every listener’s flesh crawl when he whispers, “Don’t look behind you.” King has always been generous in acknowledging the inspiration for … Read More

Book review: ‘Belzhar’ by Meg Wolitzer

Elizabeth HandArticles, Washington Post

”Belzhar,” by Meg Wolitzer (Dutton Juvenile) Meg Wolitzer’s 2013 bestseller, “The Interestings,” featured a group of precocious teenagers who met at summer camp in 1974. Wolitzer’s gift for capturing youthful exuberance and insecurity in that book suggested that she’d also be a natural at writing a young-adult novel. “Belzhar,” her first work aimed at a younger audience, is narrated by … Read More

Sarah Waters mixes crime and romantic strangers in ‘Paying Guests’

Elizabeth HandArticles, Los Angeles Times

“The Paying Guests,” by Sarah Waters, is among the finalists for the Kirkus Prize for fiction. (Charlie Hopkinson / Riverhead) Sarah Waters seems to revel in 19th and 20th century British history as a dolphin does in water: Her literary depictions of domestic life, manners, architecture, class structure, the weight of war and the volatility of love all appear as … Read More