John Grisham, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin


De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook alle tags voor John Grisham op dit blog.

Uit:The Rooster Bar

“The end of the year brought the usual holiday festivities, though around the Frazier house there was little to cheer. Mrs. Frazier went through the motions of decorating a small tree and wrapping a few cheap gifts and baking cookies no one really wanted, and, as always, she kept The Nutcracker running nonstop on the stereo as she gamely hummed along in the kitchen as though the season was merry.
Things were anything but merry. Mr. Frazier had moved out three years earlier, and he wasn’t missed as much as he was despised. In no time, he had moved in with his young secretary, who, as things developed, was already pregnant. Mrs. Frazier, jilted, humiliated, broke, and depressed, was still struggling.
Louie, her younger son, was under house arrest, sort of free on bail, and facing a rough year ahead with the drug charges and all. He made no effort to buy his mom anything in the way of a gift. His excuse was that he couldn’t leave the house because of the court-ordered monitor attached to his ankle. But even without it, no one expected Louie to go to the trouble of buying gifts. The year before and the year before that both of his ankles had been unburdened and he hadn’t bothered to shop.
Mark, the older son, was home from the horrors of law school, and, though even poorer than his brother, had managed to buy his mother some perfume. He was scheduled to graduate in May, sit for the bar exam in July, and begin working with a D.C. firm in September, which, as it so happened, was the same month Louie’s trial was on the docket. But Louie’s case would not go to trial for two very good reasons. First, the undercover boys had caught him in the act of selling ten bags of crack—there was even a video—and, second, neither Louie nor his mother could afford a decent lawyer to handle the mess. Throughout the holidays, both Louie and Mrs. Frazier dropped hints that Mark should rush in and volunteer to defend his brother. Wouldn’t it be easy to stall matters until later in the year when Mark was properly admitted to the bar—he was practically there anyway—and once he had his license wouldn’t it be a simple matter of finding one of those technicalities you read about to get the charges dismissed?”


John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

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Rachel Cusk


De Canadese schrijfster Rachel Cusk werd geboren op 8 februari 1967 in Saskatoon. Zij bracht echter een groot deel van haar vroege jeugd door in Los Angeles. Op negenjarige leeftijd verhuisde ze met haar familie naar het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Daar studeerde ze Engels aan New College, Oxford University. Later werkte ze voor een literair bureau in Londen en toerde ze door Spanje en Midden-Amerika. Zij is getrouwd met de kunstenaar Siemon Scamell-Katz. Cusk heeft acht romans en drie non-fictieboeken geschreven. Zij debuteerde in 1993 met “Saving Agnes”. Daarna volgden o.a. “The Country Life” (1997), “The Lucky Ones” (2003), “In the Fold” (2005), “Arlington Park” (2006), “The Bradshaw Variations” (2009), “Outline” (2014) en “Transit” (2016).Cusk heeft een aantal prijzen gewonnen en op de shortlist gestaan: haar roman 2014, “Outline”, was genomineerd voor de Folioprijs, de Goldsmiths Prize en de Baileys-prijs. In 2003 werd Cusk genomineerd door Granta Magazine als een van de 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'.

Uit: Outline

“Before the flight I was invited for lunch at a London club with a billionaire I'd been promised had liberal credentials. He talked in his open-necked shirt about the new software he was developing, that could help organisations identify the employees most likely to rob and betray them in the future. We were meant to be discussing a literary magazine he was thinking of starting up: unfortunately I had to leave before we arrived at that subject. He insisted on paying for a taxi to the airport, which was useful since I was late and had a heavy suitcase.
The billionaire had been keen to give me the outline of his life story, which had begun unprepossessingly and ended – obviously – with him being the relaxed, well-heeled man who sat across the table from me today. I wondered whether in fact what he wanted now was to be a writer, with the literary magazine as his entrée. A lot of people want to be writers: there was no reason to think you couldn't buy your way into it. This man had bought himself in, and out, of a great many things. He mentioned a scheme he was working on, to eradicate lawyers from people's personal lives. He was also developing a blueprint for a floating wind farm big enough to accommodate the entire community of people needed to service and run it: the gigantic platform could be located far out to sea, thus removing the unsightly turbines from the stretch of coast where he was hoping to pilot the proposal and where, incidentally, he owned a house.
On Sundays he played drums in a rock band, just for fun. He was expecting his eleventh child, which wasn't as bad as it sounded when you considered that he and his wife had once adopted quadruplets from Guatemala. I was finding it difficult to assimilate everything I was being told. The waitresses kept bringing more things, oysters, relishes, special wines. He was easily distracted, like a child with too many Christmas presents. But when he put me in the taxi he said, enjoy yourself in Athens, though I didn't remember telling him that was where I was going.
On the tarmac at Heathrow the planeful of people waited silently to be taken into the air. The air hostess stood in the aisle and mimed with her props as the recording played. We were strapped into our seats, a field of strangers, in a silence like the silence of a congregation while the liturgy is read. She showed us the life jacket with its little pipe, the emergency exits, the oxygen mask dangling from a length of clear tubing. She led us through the possibility of death and disaster, as the priest leads the congregation through the details of purgatory and hell; and no one jumped up to escape while there was still time.“


Rachel Cusk (Saskatoon, 8 februari 1967)

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