Wednesday, August 6, 2008

new essay in new collection

There's a new cover on the list of anthologies down below and to the right. An essay I wrote called "Letter to a Young Enlistee" opens a new collection titled War Is... coming from Candlewick Press in a few weeks. Friends Joel Turnipseed and Chris Hedges also contributed. In addition to contemporary authors, they did something cool by adding in Mark Twain and Bob Dylan among others. Good book. Here's the back cover copy:

War is...
Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War
edited by Marc Aronson and Patty Campbell

"The most important Young Adult book of the year, tough, smart and clear-eyed about a topic more taboo than sex - going to war - a topic teenagers need to know about before they make real life and death decisions." -- Robert Lipsyte, author of THE CONTENDER

Marc Aronson thinks war is inevitable. Patty Campbell thinks war is cruel, deceptive, and wrong. But both agree on one thing: that teens need to hear the truthful voices of those who have experienced war firsthand. The result is this dynamic selection of essays, memoirs, letters, and fiction from nearly than twenty contributors, both contemporary and historical -- ranging from Christian Bauman's wrenching "Letter to a Young Enlistee" to Chris Hedges's unflinching look at combat to Fumiko Miura's Nagasaki memoir, "A Survivor's Tale." Whether the speaker is Mark Twain, World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle, or a soldier writing a miliblog, these divergent pieces look war straight in the face -- and provide an invaluable resource for teenagers today.
In a provocative anthology, two editors with opposing viewpoints present an unflinching collection of works reflecting on the nature of war.

Chatting from Paris

Hands down, Jessa Crispin's is my favorite book news/commentary site. Detractors claim Jessa's blog is snarky. I think she's pragmatic and usually right. Anyway, loving the site like I do, it's big fun for me to be one of their interviews this month.

The interviewer was Jessa's sister Jen Crispin, who I'm a big fan of because she's written flattering reviews of all my books (I'm easy like that). It's rare, too, to have a reviewer who actually gets what's you're trying to do. So, you know, the whole Crispin family is basically aces in my book.

Anyway, we did this by email, and I was in Paris at the time. Here's how my side of the conversation started:

"Hello from Paris, where I’m answering these questions. The weather is milder over here this week than at home in Pennsylvania, and for that I’m thankful. The weather and the foie gras, thankful for both. And I saw Jeanette Winterson today. Not in a “we shared witty conversation and a bottle of wine at a small table overlooking the Seine” kind of way, but in a “I walked into Shakespeare & Co. wondering what the line was about and there she was, signing books.” Unable to browse the stacks because of her line, I wandered over to Notre Dame just in time to have the guard lock the gate on me. A wrinkled little pear of a street woman saw my defeat and showed me how to get in through the Exit, so she got my 5 Euros directly, rather than me having to pass it through God’s hands first. Okay, let’s answer questions."

We go on from there to talk about In Hoboken, my other books, Silas House, singing with Woody Guthrie's sister, Stephen King, and the Dragonriders of Pern. It's all here.