Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Philly Fiction 2 review on Philly2Philly.com

Philly Fiction 2 got a book review from the new online newsmagazine, Philly2Philly.com. They just started a month or so ago, but they seem committed to covering a variety of events, groups, and people of interest in the city. Writing book (or play, or album, etc.) reviews is a good way for a fledgling publication to get its name out, as organizations (like Don Ron Books, for example!), will use an attributed quote from the article.

Like this:
“I’m generally apprehensive about writing focused on Philadelphia. It takes a skillful writer who really “gets” the city—deep down, under the surface and the stereotypes—to get it right. I am extremely impressed at the number of such writers collected in Philly Fiction 2.”—Philly2Philly.com

or this:
“What I love about all of these stories is that they could be happening to anyone, anywhere. But there is also something uniquely Philadelphia about them and the fact that their stories take place here make them that much richer.” —Philly2Philly.com

The author, local poet Autumn Konopka, has a lot more good things to say about Philly Fiction 2. She picks out a few stories for particular praise: “Erasing Sonny” by Kelly McQuain, of which she says “this story alone is worth the price of admission”; “Atlantic City” by Justin St. Germain, which she says is “full of wonder and surprise”; and “Memphis” by Sandra Novack which “delivers believable, sympathetic characters.”

The great thing about Philly Fiction and Philly Fiction 2 is the variety of stories reviewers picked out for praise. A piece one reader hates may be another reader’s favorite. So it is that Konopka slams one of my favorite tales, “Give and Take” by Bruce Langfeld, a brilliant hard-boiled story reminiscent of Philadelphia writer David Goodess and Philly-raised Dashiell Hammett. I guess you get it or you don’t. Read this excerpt and make up your own mind.

More peculiar are the comments by this “life-long Philly girl” that she’s never heard anyone call Northeast Philadelphia “the Northeast” or the Philly suburbs “the suburbs.” Ah well, she nitpicked and so am I. Many thanks to Autumn and Philly2Philly.com for their kind and positive coverage. You can read the full review here.

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