The Reluctant Book Reviewer: Join Padgett Powell in Conversation with Ann Kjellberg

In his first post for us in our dewy days of spring 2018—it was, in fact, our very first review!—Padgett Powell wrote “when I was asked by Book Post to review William Trevor’s last book of stories … I said Yes meaning No, because I do not think a book review serves a man or a woman or a book.”

An auspicious start! His not-review of Trevor is included in his new book of essays Indigo, along with his other Book Post review-like offering, on the subject of Peter Taylor, in which he averred, “I became what writer I could so that I would not have to talk about writing or listen to others talk about writing.” After Indigo went to press, Powell revisited his lack of interest in displays of critical judgment in a post for us called “Eff the Classics.”

Writing in The New York Times, critic Christian Lorentzen said of Indigo, “Any editor going to Powell looking for passable hackwork has got the wrong guy,” to which we say, tell us about it. (Lorentzen also called Powell “a champion in the shadows, a rare creature, a delicious hybrid—and a major American writer.”) What better opportunity, then, after our enthusiastic embrace of the reviewing life with Donna Seaman and Laurie Hertzel a couple of weeks ago, to test our principles than by submitting ourselves, on the occasion of the arrival of Indigo, to the gaze of a true skeptic.

Join us as we try virtually to persuade Padgett Powell to talk up book reviewing, and in all probability move on to something more to his liking, on Thursday, December 9, at 6:00 pm Central Time.

Novelist and Sometime Essayist Padgett Powell

in Virtual Conversation with Book Post’s Ann Kjellberg

via Seminary Co-op, Thursday, December 9, 6:00 pm Central Time

Register here

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