Little Known Facts (Bloomsbury Circus [UK], January 2013, Bloomsbury USA, February 2013), recently named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2013 by Booklist and Best New Book by a Local Author by Chicago Magazine
A READER REVIEW FOR THE UK EDITION
Click here to read the post from "booksaremyfavouriteandbest"
Cathy Langer, head buyer of Denver's the Tattered Cover:
I admit that I was wary of the LA setting and the inside look at glamour and fame, but...I had faith, dove in and and really, really loved LITTLE KNOWN FACTS. From the points of view of those closest to Hollywood super star Renn Ivins we see the flaws and foibles of the airbrushed lives of the rich and famous and the people closest to them. This is a deeply sensitive novel that takes the reader into a world usually glamorized or carefully spun by publicists, revealing the havoc wreaked on most of the lives of ex's and offspring and lovers and the stars themselves. This insightful novel avoids moralizing, though in the end the moral might well be "Be careful what you wish for."
Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT:
"I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The writing is fresh and so honest. [Sneed] shows us that everyone, no matter how famous or rich, is human and capable of making mistakes...Will struggles in the glitzy shadows of his movie star father, only not really sure whether he should go to law school or follow in his father's footsteps, or even in his mother's or sister's, both of whom are successful medical doctors. How can any of these people have a healthy romantic relationship when their father is on his third wife, the most recent one the age of his daughter Anna?
"While we all read the tabloids about famous movie stars like Brad and Angie, little do we know that they are all wondering about their role in this world. Christine Sneed brings us into their world, showing us that no matter how famous one may be, all of us are facing the same question. Who are we and what do we want from our life?"
SHORT STORY COLLECTION:
Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry published in paperback and as an e-book in February 2013 by Bloomsbury USA.
See below for more details on both titles.
Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry
Portraits of..., Winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, 2009 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Awards Series. Starred review in Publishers Weekly. (For this review and a number of others, please click on REVIEWS in the banner heading above.)
Portraits was named one of the seven best books of 2010 by Time Out Chicago. And one of the fifty best fiction books by the San Francisco Chronicle (2011). It won the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award in traditionally published fiction. (The awards ceremony took place on 14 January 2012, at Chicago's Book Cellar bookstore in Lincoln Square).
Portraits was also nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, first fiction category. Read about it here. The other nominees in first fiction were Leslie Jamison for The Gin Closet, Peter Bognanni for The House of Tomorrow, Michael Sledge for The More I Owe You and Tatjana Soli for The Lotus Eaters. The House of Tomorrow was chosen as the winner on April 29, 2011 at the Los Angeles Times' awards ceremony. Congratulations to Peter! The House of Tomorrow is a great novel. Really. Read it!
And...Portraits was also long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Information about the award and the other long-listed books, along with the winner and five finalists, is here.
Little Known Facts
The write-up in the September 27, 2011 Publishers Marketplace:
Author of PORTRAITS OF A FEW OF THE PEOPLE I'VE MADE CRY, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Christine Sneed's LITTLE KNOWN FACTS, a novel-in-stories about the darker side of fame and fortune as it affects the lives of family members and their patriarch, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature, depicting a world of influence and affluence and how those things can complicate the search for an authentic self, to Nancy Miller at Bloomsbury Press, for publication in Spring 2013, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (World English). Translation: firstname.lastname@example.org
More details about Portraits:
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and fiction-writer Julia Keller wrote an article about Portraits for the January 16, 2011 Arts and Entertainment section of the Chicago Tribune.
Allan Gurganus, Judge: "If this story collection crackles with the energy of youth, it also feels written by a cool-eyed soul reincarnated at least three times. The fiction shows a stringent, inevitable sense of narrative patterning. Though these tales are based in quirky character, plot unfolds from them with twists and doublings-back that keep us first off-guard then hooked.
- A young woman accepts money from one suave stranger her grandfather's age. She next offers him quiet erotic favors that soon cut her off from all the usual bad luck – and therefore from her life itself.
- A boy movie star enrolls in a college course. He and his bodyguard swamp the moral eco-system of the class then the ethical confidence of one young woman teacher.
By turns funny and pitiless, these tales amount to a vision. We note how characters' forebears colored and shaped them, for good or ill. The book's voice is unforced in its ready wit, detached compassion. There is an admirable candor. Each character's sexuality seems the natural outcome of a life fully-risked. The collection promises further accomplishment. But it also reveals one talent already enjoying itself–with erotic abandon, a feline completeness."
Read an excerpt from the title story.
"Boundaries" - cover photo for Portraits by Terri Bell, a Colorado-based photographer.