It’s Literally Wednesday: Starting, Going, and Stopping

Lauren Morrill drove from her home in Macon, Georgia yesterday to Decatur’s Little Shop of Stories. It was an historic day for Lauren. Her first novel, a work of young adult fiction titled Meant to Be (Delacorte), just came out and she wanted to see it in an honest-to-goodness bookstore. (A review of Lauren’s book will be posted here shortly.) She took photos. She signed copies. Someday, many years from now when her 13th novel is published, Lauren will not think it such a big deal, though others might. In the meantime, congratulations.

The 13th novel by Herman Wouk, age 97, is The Lawgiver which was also published yesterday. Asked in a wonderful New York Times interview whether he ever plans to stop writing, Wouk replied, “What am I going to do?” he said. “Sit around and wait a year?”

On the other hand, Philip Roth, age 79, has called it a wrap. In an interview with the French magazine Les InRocks, Roth stated that Nemesis, his 2010 novel and 26th, would be his last. According to a translation by Salon:

After rereading all his favorite novels, and then rereading all his books in reverse chronological order, Roth “decided that I was done with fiction. I do not want to read, to write more,” he said. “I have dedicated my life to the novel: I studied, I taught, I wrote and I read. With the exclusion of almost everything else. Enough is enough! I no longer feel this fanaticism to write that I have experienced in my life.”

Many of Roth’s early novels are among my all-time favorites. Portnoy’s Complaint ranks right up at the top with Catch-22 in the profound comedy category. On the other hand, I have never read anything of Wouk’s. The Lawgiver, about a group of Hollywood types (Wouk himself is a character) making a movie about the life of Moses, might change that. Hey, the guy is 97, which might be reason enough.

This Week

George Singleton, author of Stray Decorum, Wednesday, November 14th, 7:15, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Emma Donoghue, author of Astray, Thursday, November 15th, 7:15 p.m., Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Michael Feinstein, author of The Gershwins and Me, A S’Wonderful Musical Evening, Sunday, November 18th, 7:30 p.m., Zaban Park, sponsored by Marcus JCC, $18 members, $24 non-members.

Anne Lamott, author of  Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Monday, November 19th, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.), First Baptist Church Decatur, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power, Monday, November 19th, 7 p.m., Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, $38 (includes a signed, first edition copy), $50 for a couple.