Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

November 13, 2011

STALKER GIRL a “Remarkable Read” on Obsession

School Library Journal just published a short list of “Remarkable Reads” on the topic of Obsession. Among the five titles is Stalker Girl, which they call “tense, tightly-drawn and suspenseful.”

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November 14, 2010

I Don’t Get It

New York published a long exposé by a Columbia MFA grad who was almost exploited by James Frey and his Full Fathom Five book packaging company. We’re supposed to be shocked and appalled. Everybody on Facebook’s condemning Frey for his greed and ego. Some are asking how Columbia can allow someone like him to prey on their students. In my view, Columbia, which charges 45K 48K a year for its MFA, preys on students! Many friends and writers I respect are piling on Frey for this. Me, I’m shrugging and kind of annoyed by the kids who thought this was going to be their big break.

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October 18, 2010

Interview with Sara @ The Hiding Spot

I really enjoyed doing this interview with Sara at The Hiding Spot. Read it or Sara’s wonderfully generous review of STALKER GIRL. If you leave a comment after the interview or in response to Sara’s review, you’ll be entered to win a free signed copy.

September 8, 2010

Booklist and BCCB Like Stalker Girl

Booklist says “Graham takes a vilified behavior . . and assigns it to her protagonist, and along the way manages to generate a surprising amount of sympathy.”

The BCCB says “Graham’s style is friendly and conversational, yet her storytelling is precise and controlled. She skillfully moves back and forth in the timeline for maximum impact, and without explicitly creating a cause for Carly’s overwhelming need, she sets up a background and an immediate past that would understandably make a normal girl particularly vulnerable. Carly is achingly believable . . .”

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August 21, 2010

Made The CoCo Times!

The Contra Costa Times covers Stalker Girl.

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August 12, 2010

Taking the Scholarly Route

Thanks to Meg Waite Clayton for inviting me to tell how I went from Walt Whitman scholar to YA novelist on her fabulous 1stbooks blog.

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August 6, 2010

Finally

Stalker Girl is out in the world.

I did a fun interview with RT Book Reviews that’s available as a podcast.

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July 13, 2010

She Wasn’t Always Like This

That’s what I wanted to call my new book. But the professionals—my agent, my editor and others at the publisher—all thought Stalker Girl was the better choice. Short and to the point, they said. No one would wonder what it was about.

Maybe. I acquiesced, deferred to the pros.

But to me, “She wasn’t always like this” captures the heart of the story better. It’s the opening sentence in one of the book’s early chapters. We’ve already met Carly, the Stalker Girl, in full-blown stalking mode and now we’re about to learn who she is and why she’s following her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend around the streets of Manhattan.

Carly wasn’t always a stalker, and she hopefully won’t always be a stalker.

But right now, she’s seventeen and her first serious boyfriend has not only dumped her, he’s found a new girlfriend in what seems to Carly to be a pretty short time.

Who wouldn’t be just a little bit curious?

Who wouldn’t at least try to find out what the girl looked like?

Who wouldn’t start comparing themselves to the new girl?

Who can say definitively that they would never do the things Carly ends up doing in this book?

To me, “She Wasn’t Always Like This” conveys the idea that we can never know what acts we’re capable of, be they admirable or embarrassing.

July 11, 2010

We Have a Winner

The prize for the Best Stalker Story goes to Rachael Larose, who, like Carly in Stalker Girl, stepped out from behind the computer for real, live, in-person stalking.

I was vacationing in Florida, at the mall with my grandma, when I noticed a dashing young man walking by with two fellows at his
side. We made eye contact, he smiled, and I swooned.I kept glancing back until he disappeared into a store that sold sunglasses. I wasn’t focused on the name of the store, just the boy. I turned to my grandma and told her I would be right back. She smiled and told me she’d meet up with me later. I nodded, not paying attention, and scurried away to the store with sunglasses. Of course,as soon as I entered, he left. He caught my eye and I had another swoon moment as he exited.

For the next hour and a half, I followed this boy, entering every store he was in. He once bumped into me, and apologized. I was so embarassed because what I said in return was “you…it’s…eyes-I mean, it’s okay”. He gave me a funny look, grinned, and left. I followed him into one more store when my grandma found me and took me to lunch. My head was still spinning.

Congratulations, Rachael!

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July 9, 2010

This Week in Patronizing Male Reviews of Women’s Art

I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Kids are All Right since hearing about its debut at Sundance. It’s out this week, getting reviewed positively everywhere.  The Times’s A.O. Scott says it’s “the best comedy about an American family since …” Because it is without precedent, he decides to “let the superlative stand unqualified for now.” He praises director and screenwriter Lisa Cholodenko for the way she “blends the anarchic energy of farce — fueled by coincidences and reversals, collisions and misunderstandings — with a novelistic sensitivity to the almost invisible threads that bind and entangle people.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle calls it “rich and psychologically truthful work.” Fresh Air’s David Edelstein considers the political implications:

Cholodenko has a female partner and a child, and in a political climate hostile to gay families it must be hard for her even to suggest that two moms might not be enough. But she’s a true dramatist. She tests what is presumably her own design for living; she bombards it with every satirical weapon in her arsenal. Then she picks up the pieces and rebuilds.

Reading and hearing these reviews today confirmed the unease I felt reading Anthony Lane’s New Yorker review last night. Lane loves the movie, too. But his review is marred by strange and patronizing assumptions about the director/screenwriter’s intentions. After noting that California of TKAA “is a greener, gayer update of the California that Woody Allen took such perfect potshots at, more than thirty years ago, in ‘Annie Hall,’” he declares that “Cholodenko doesn’t always know that it is funny.”

Huh?

He goes on to tell us more about Cholodenko’s intentions

She wants us to laugh at Paul’s initial response when he learns of the family setup . . . and she rightly notes the casual, bantering racism of the liberal bourgeoisie . . .

Then he asks whether

the screenwriters not realize that half of the women’s conversation—”We just talked conceptually,” “It hasn’t risen to the point of consciousness for you,” “It’s so indigenous!”—is pure, extra-planetary prattling and nothing but? The prattle turns chronic when Jules, who fancies herself as a landscape designer, is hired by Paul to reshape his back yard; she suggests “a trellisy, hidden garden kind of thing,” or, alternatively, “you could go with the Asiany.”

The assumed answer to this patronizing question is no.  Cholodenko and her co-writer share their characters’ lack of self-awareness.

Is it me or is this the second patronizing review of a woman’s work from a major publication this week?


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