Jane Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Tag: Emma Donoghue

Hunger–my story collection (not Roxane Gay’s memoir I’m reading now)

When I was sorting through my archives, I discovered two reviews of my 2003 short story collection Hunger, one from Event Magazine and one from The Fiddlehead. I thought folks might like to read them. I’d forgotten they existed, and I so loathed the cover the publisher gave that book that I immediately orphaned it. Don’t get me wrong. I am a sizable fan of the artist Egon Shiele, but I didn’t think the chosen image evinced hunger, and the book design was, frankly, pug ugly. I was stunned by the back cover, or lack of back cover, which wasn’t even designed. I know I could have checked the typical stylistic quirks out when the press asked me to publish with them, but I didn’t. At the time, I was on a Gulf Island, and there were none of that press’s books I could find in the library, and it was before the internet was really going. I didn’t see the mess of that book until the press had gone to print (probably on purpose … some presses respect their writers and some don’t) and when I got my author copies, a signature fell out of the first one I picked up, proving that the production values sucked. I felt embarrassed and humiliated. After that, I just–refused it. I always knew it contained great stories, since most of them had won pretty major awards, and it went on to be shortlisted for the Ferro-Grumley, earning it a lovely quote from Emma Donoghue, but I hated its look, so I orphaned it.

Anyway, what a difference 14 years makes–and doesn’t make. I still loathe that cover and the production values (you’ll note the cover is not included in this blog post, and it doesn’t appear on Amazon either) but I now imagine I might like the book if I read it again, because in tearing apart litmags and anthologies to make tear sheets for the archives, I found these:

Event review of Hunger

Painting the Babys Room Green review of Hunger

Weekend Makes Pride’s The Fifteen Must-Read LGBT Books List of 2016

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Pride Magazine

Weekend, Jane Eaton Hamilton

Trouble the Water, Derrick Austin

The Angel of History, Rabih Alameddine

Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett

Boy Erased, Garrard Conley

Juliet Takes a Breath, Gabby Rivera

After Disasters, Viet Dinh

Black Wave, Michelle Tea

Small Beauty, Jia Qing Wilson-Yang

The Wonder, Emma Donoghue

If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo

Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, Laura Jane Grace

Desert Boys, Chris McCormick

Eleanor and Hick, Susan Quinn

Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson

 

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