when good things happen to good people: congratulations to Alyson Hagy, Lilian Nattel, Alex Kotlowitz, Laura Geringer, Buzz Bissinger
Sunday, February 26, 2012
This morning I take a moment to honor my friends whose work is gaining the attention it most assuredly deserves.
Alex Kotlowitz, a supremely talented writer and journalist who recently transitioned into film, won a Spirit Award for his documentary, "The Interrupters," made with Steve James for Kartemquin Films. It's an extraordinary recognition, and I'm so happy for him.
Alyson Hagy, one of my dearest friends and one of the great Renaissance ladies of our times (not just a writer and a teacher, but a university leader and an athlete), received a starred review from Publishers Weekly for her most-magnificent Boleto, which will appear in stores in May. It's the first of many accolades for Alyson, who was cited by PW as "fast becoming a recognizable author of the American West." I have no words. Her time has come.
Lilian Nattel, meanwhile, is enjoying a rush of deeply deserved attention for her groundbreaking novel, Web of Angels, a book I recently reviewed here. She's on the radio, she's in the papers, and her book is selling. After many years of work on this book, she emerges with a winner.
Laura Geringer, who first invited me to write for teens however many years ago, will, like the rest of us, be watching the Oscars this evening. But Laura will have a very special connection, for an animated short in which she played a key role, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," is up for one of those shiny figurines. It's a short dedicated to a great man in books, Bill Morris—a man Jennifer Brown, featured last week in Publishing Perspectives, refers to as her unforgettable mentor. Many bibliophiles are cheering this short on.
Lots of people, finally, are talking about Buzz Bissinger's remarkable memoir, Father's Day, also due out in May. Buzz broke my heart with this book, as I wrote here. He's about to break the hearts of many. If things go as planned, Buzz will be joining my classroom this Tuesday, talking about how this book got made. We will be lucky to have him.