Sure, Jess and Tim are up for National Book Awards, but why? What's so good about their books?
Jess Walter's novel about a suicidal cop sorting through rubble at Ground Zero is filled with telling details: nightmares about endless showers of fluttering office paper; other cops, glad to be treated like celebrities in the aftermath of their coworkers' sacrifices; a Yankee relief pitcher on a tour of The Zero who becomes a metaphor for the relief we could all use; German shepherds sniffing the narrator and deciding that he "wasn't a corpse just yet."
And Tim Egan's achievement in The Worst Hard Time? Interviewing the elderly remaining witnesses of the 1930s Dust Bowl, with their stories of darkness at noon, static electricity so bad that it electrocuted free-range jackrabbits, and 10,000-foot-tall dust clouds that plowed up more dirt on one particular day (in April 1935) than was dug out of the earth to create the Panama Canal. Plus, getting a blurb from Walter Cronkite doesn't hurt either. That's almost as good as being an NBA All-Star.
To Err Is Human
We messed up a couple of things in last week's Dining Out issue. We found our way to The Chalet, at 2918 S. Grand Blvd. (phone 747-6474), but somehow we printed the wrong address in our Three Women and a Hearty Breakfast feature. And regarding fair trade coffee, we got word that all of the Doma coffee blends served at Bahama Joe's are fair trade. Fair enough.
What's in the Award?
Corgi must've known what he was talking about in all those movie reviews he did for us. Former Inlander music writer Mike Corrigan is part of the team that created "What's in the Barn?" and won Best Short Film at the Northwest Film Forum's recent Local Sightings Film Festival, good for $2,500 cash and $2,500 in services (cameras, sound gear, editing suites, etc.) from NFF. "But the best thing as far as I'm concerned," says Corrigan, "is the fact that the panel of judges -- guys from IFC, Sundance, and Filmmaker mag -- saw it and liked it." Congrats, Mike.
Patty and David
Actors Rep has announced that Patty Duke will now appear in the theater's April production of Humble Boy, a comic retelling of Hamlet, with Duke as the Gertrude figure: recently widowed and struggling with a cynical thirtysomething son.
Even better, ARt has announced that it will produce Long Day's Journey Into Night next fall with the part of James Tyrone played by David Ogden Stiers, who's voiced a lot of Disney animated characters but is best known as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on all those reruns of MASH.