Monday, October 22, 2012


BACK IN FEBRUARY, my post on James Joyce's picture book The Cat and the Devil went slightly viral when it was announced that a small Irish publisher would be publishing a new picture book by Joyce entitled The Cats of Copenhagen. The circumstances around this event were slightly controversial (refer back to the original post), so it was unclear if the book would ever be available to the general public at an affordable price. Just last week, Scribner published an American edition, which can be found in stores now.

Unlike The Cat and the Devil, there isn't a strong narrative in The Cats of Copenhagen. It's comprised mainly of absurd observations about cats and policemen and crossing streets. Its tone is somewhere between Ruth Krauss's A Hole is to Dig and the works of Edward Gorey. Casey Sorrow's single color line illustrations resonate with the spare text so that each page is a whole idea, the words and art almost a single lexical unit. In short, it's a wonderful book. But I haven't tested it out on any kids yet.

UPDATE: Ithys Press, the original publisher of The Cats of Copenhagen asked me to mention the work of typographer Michael Caine, who hand set the type for the book. From Anastasia Herbert at Ithys: "That extraordinary setting was all done by hand with lead and wooden type from rare, antique founts in his collection." To see more on Michael Caine see Ithys Press's blog here.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Review Roundup: The Twenty-Year Death

BEFORE I PUBLISHED A BOOK, I had never been on Facebook. But in the lead up to the releases of One of a Kind and The Twenty-Year Death, I started a Facebook page to make it easy for people to follow the Ariel S. Winter news. It was important to me to not use We Too Were Children as an advertisement for my books, since you signed on to hear about obscure vintage kids' books, not me. But a number of people have complained that, since they are not on Facebook, they have no clue what is going on, and have even missed some major news. So, for those people, here are the big items.

The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post all gave The Twenty-Year Death rave reviews. The Baltimore City Paper ran a cover article on me, and then named The Twenty-Year Death Best of Baltimore 2012: Best Fiction. I wrote an article for The City Paper on James M. Cain's novel The Moth, an article for Criminal Element on the novel that inspired Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and an essay for Powell's Books on authorial voice. The Japanese language rights sold, so a year from now you'll be able to read The Twenty-Year Death in Japanese. For anything beyond that, dig through my Twitter or go to Facebook if you are able and check it out.

In children's book news, I had the pleasure of speaking to Val Teal's daughter and grandson about The Little Woman Wanted Noise, which was a real thrill, since so much of my research is strictly from books. Hopefully there will be more to announce in that regard soon. Stand by for more We Too Were Children some day.

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