In personal news…meeting someone one admires can be an exercise in disappointment. How often do legends exceed our expectations? I had the great privilege of spending some time with Margaret Atwood when I was in Toronto recently and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. She is brilliant, witty, erudite, full of surprises and profoundly generous. I recently reread her historical novel Alias Grace, which is astounding, and she reminded me that Netflix recently released a series based on the novel, with which she was very happy. I was also lucky to be in the company of the penetratingly intelligent literary critic Amy Brady and the eminent professor Everett Hamner, as well as Cosima Herter (not pictured here, as she was taking the photo), writer for Orphan Black and Snowpiercer, who is, like Margaret Atwood, a truly unforgettable talent.

Lascaux Prize in Fiction

I was greatly surprised (astonished, really) to learn South Pole Station had been awarded the Lascaux Prize in Fiction this summer, somehow beating exceptional novels like Exit, West by Mosin Hamid and The Use of Fame by Cornelia Nixon. The finalist list serves as a handy must-read list, by the way, so I'm including it below:

Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
Jim Naremore, The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts
Cornelia Nixon, The Use of Fame
Ronan Ryan, The Fractured Life of Jimmy Dice
Lynn C. Miller, The Day After Death
Anne Da Vigo, Thread of Gold
Robley Wilson, After Paradise

Paperback Release

The paperback of South Pole Station has officially been released and is available in independent bookstores across the country--as well as the country's airport bookstores, apparently. In honor of the paperback release I'm going to re-share one of my favorite, and most thoughtful, reviews of South Pole Station from last summer, by novelist Eric Shonkwiler over at The Coil:

On Ashley Shelby's South Pole Station