About Patricia Eakins: ‘Eakins is the author of The Hungry Girls and Other Stories and The Marvelous Adventures of Pierre Baptiste (a novel) which won both the NYU Press Prize for Fiction and the Capricorn Fiction Award of the Writer’s Voice. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Parnassus, Conjunctions, and The Paris Review, which awarded her the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction. In 1997, The Hungry Girls was made into a work of theatre by the performance ensemble Collision Theory, which later commissioned Eakins to write the texts and lyrics for Portrait (with horse and other). These texts appear in the Artist in Wartime Issue of Fiction International under the title “What Remained.”‘
About Russell Edson: “Edson (December 12, 1928 – April 29, 2014), often referred to as ‘the godfather of the prose poem in America,’ was a poet, novelist, and illustrator. He was the son of cartoonist-screenwriter Gus Edson, best known for his work on two popular, long running comic strips, The Gumps and Dondi.
Edson studied art early in life and attended the Art Students League of New York as a teenager. His first collection of poetry and short fiction, Ceremonies in Bachelor Space, was published in 1951 by Black Mountain College. In the early 1960s, he self-published several chapbooks of prose poems under the imprint Thing Press, the best of which were later collected into The Very Thing That Happens: Fables and Drawings, published by New Directions in 1964. Numerous other collections followed, as well as a book of plays, The Falling Sickness, also published by New Directions (1975). Throughout his career, his work appeared in countless anthologies and literary magazines. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (1974), The Whiting Award (1989), and three National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships (1976, 1981, 1992).”
About Rikki Ducornet: “Ducornet is an American postmodernist, writer, poet, and artist. Her father was a professor of sociology, and her mother hosted community-interest programs on radio and television. Ducornet grew up on the campus of Bard College in New York, earning a B.A. in Fine Arts from the same institution in 1964. While at Bard she met Robert Coover and Robert Kelly, two authors who shared Ducornet’s fascination with metamorphosis and provided early models of how fiction might express this interest. In 1972 she moved to the Loire Valley in France with her then husband, Guy Ducornet. In 1988 she won a Bunting Institute fellowship at Radcliffe. In 1989 she moved back to North America after accepting a teaching position in the English Department at The University of Denver. In 2007, she replaced retired Dr. Ernest Gaines as Writer in Residence at the The University of Louisiana. In 2008, The American Academy of Arts and Letters conferred upon her one of the eight annual Academy Awards presented to writers.”
About Paul West: “Paul West (February 23, 1930) was an English-born novelist, literary historian and poet, the author of 24 novels, who lived in America since the early 1960s. He resided in upstate New York with his wife, the writer, poet and well-known naturalist Diane Ackerman, until his death in 2015. Paul, still remembered with affection by his old colleagues and friends in England as a big, jolly man, was born in Eckington, which is near (and now considered a part of) Sheffield in South Yorkshire, but was during West’s childhood a Derbyshire village associated with the famous literary Sitwells of Renishaw.”
About Luisa Valenzuela: From the Paris Review: “Luisa Valenzuela, the oldest daughter of a prominent Argentine writer, Luisa Mercedes Levinson, was born in Buenos Aires in 1938. The Levinson home was a gathering place for Argentina’s literary community—Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar, among others, were frequent guests—and Valenzuela, an omnivorous reader, started writing at an early age. She published her first story, “Ese canto,” in 1958.
About Wendy Walker, from her website: “Up to 1994 I worked in known genres: the novel, novella, tale, poem. Since that time I have turned more to critical fiction, writing with constraints, and cross-genre writing, splicing these together to develop new ways of addressing problems at the crossroads of literature and history. I begin by listening to the demands of a given subject. The subject suggests approaches from a variety of directions, and I try to shape a form to open as many of those approaches as possible. The form is satisfactory if it honors the complexity of the subject addressed, rather than diminishing it, and resolves the material in an elegant manner. […]
Translations are a puzzle. Say you’re reading Talal Itani’s translation of the Qu’ran (because you realized you haven’t read the central text of the world’s 2nd largest and fastest-growing religion) and come across Surah 24:43:
Editor’s note: this is the first installment of what is projected to be (at least) a monthly column by yours truly. The aim of Invisible Books is to shine a light on wrongly neglected and forgotten books and their authors.To help bring more attention to these works of art, please share this article on social media.