Saturday December 18th, 2010

Expanding From an Audience of 25

Whatever somewhat mixed feelings I have about the book (review to appear soon), I’m happy that Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule has gotten the attention it has as a result of winning the National Book Award. It’s nice to know that horse racing can still command attention on the page. In the New York Times profile of her earlier this week, Gordon says she comes from “a long line of horseplayers.” Me, too. Well, a line, anyway, at least as far back as my paternal grandfather.

The piece goes on to say that “when she decided to enroll in a writing program, she picked Brown over Iowa because it was near Lincoln Downs, a Rhode Island track.” As if that sound reasoning isn’t cause enough to admire her, she also has a sense of humor, as when she describes her first novel, Shamp of the City-Solo, published in 1974 by the small publisher that also published Lord of Misrule: “It’s an underground classic. That means about 25 people have read it. But those 25 really, really like it.”