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This week at The Quivering Pen book blog: Fobbit love, squirrels, the Friday Freebie giveaway, and more.

The Quivering Pen
a blog about books

Gilded Age

Friday Freebie
This week's book giveaway is Gilded Age by Claire McMillan. Here at the blog, I've already championed this novel--a contemporary take on Edith Wharton's The House of Mirtha couple of times.  Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about it: "McMillan’s debut novel, inspired by Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth, is a hard-edged look at the vacuous, insipid elite of modern-day Cleveland, Ohio.  Ellie Hart, back home after rehab and divorce, quickly falls into her old ways, charming men in her search for a wealthy husband, and alienating women."
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Claire McMillan

My First Time: Claire McMillan
When I was writing my novel Gilded Age, which is inspired by Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, I wrote most of it in bed in the mornings....as Edith Wharton herself wrote her books in bed.  And though the thought of rewriting her revered classic was intimidating, I told myself that when things got sticky, an asteroid could kill them all.
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From Quivering Pen HQ:  It's been a light week of content here at the blog and, frankly, it's likely to stay that way for the next few months as the publicity machine for Fobbit starts to crank up.  My wonderful publicists at Grove/Atlantic are planning a few readings, signings and other events for me in September and October, so I'm busy getting ready for those appearances (I should be able to post that list sometime in the next few weeks--be sure to check back and see if I'm coming to a city near you).  In the meantime, I'm also writing a few guest blogs and giving some interviews in hopes of drumming up more interest in Fobbit.  Here, for instance, is an interview I did with the website Pencils.com this past week.  As Victor Inzunza and I chatted over email, our conversation ranged from writing my first book at age 6 to joyrides in Iraq to my favorite war fiction.  You can read the entire interview by clicking HERE.  Well, that's it for now.  Stay cool out there, my friends.  Remember, if things get too hot, you can always cool yourself down by fanning your face with the pages of a book.
Your Pen Pal,
David Abrams
Slim Pickens riding the bomb

PW calls Fobbit "an instant classic"
Things have been a little topsy-turvy in my head since I got the email from my editor at Grove/Atlantic a few days ago giving me a sneak peek at Publishers Weekly's pending starred-and-boxed review of Fobbit.  I'm not a man who cries easily, but I'll admit that when I finished reading those 264 words of praise I had to reach for a Kleenex.  I was living every debut novelist's dream, sitting bull's-eye in the moment for which I'd been waiting nearly 30 years.
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Squirrels

79-word "Squirrels"
I got up at 3:30 a.m., microwaved a cup of coffee, then went downstairs and wrote three short stories.  I'm not bragging, just stating the facts.  Would it make a difference if I told you those three stories were each 79 words long? And would you believe me if I told you I agonized over those 79 words as much as--maybe even more than--a 7,900-word story?
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Fobbit

Visit Fobbit on the web
"Wavy Gravy once said, 'Without a sense of humor, it just isn’t funny.' Fobbit is hilarious, but the subject matter is deadly serious. The protagonist is a 'fobbit,' the term used by the grunts for the non-combatants ensconced inside well-protected forward operating bases, oases of junk food, air-conditioning, and all the comforts of home. But throughout the book, the fobbits are shadowed by the presence of the infantry who live in horrible conditions and are the smelly, dirty, haggard reminders that there is a real war going on just outside the gates. This is a remarkable book because it was written by a man who served as a member of an army public relations team in Iraq, i.e. a fobbit himself. It is the rare writer--indeed, the rare person--who can step outside of himself and see with cold clarity the humor and pathos of his situation and then bring the reader to the same understanding. David Abrams is such a writer."
--Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn

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