Meet our new readers

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

We’re so very pleased to announce the three new additions to the Nouvella team! Below, Jeva, Rose and Lauren tell us about some of their favorite written things.


Jeva Lange-f-qmEaq

Last thing I read that was so good, not only did it knock my socks off, it stole them forever: I just read Huckleberry Finn for the first time since I was too young to get it, and it blew me away.

Currently reading: Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Karolina Waclawiak’s How to Get Into the Twin Palms.

Favorite novellaHeart of Darkness is a clear winner for me but I have a soft spot for Breakfast at Tiffany’s too.

Favorite food in the entire world: Diet Peach Snapple is kind of my addiction (I realize I’ve cheated and this is not technically a food).

If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: I read “Where They Lived” by Marjorie Saiser in a newspaper when I was a teenager and loved it so much I committed it to memory. I’d recite that.



Rose Gowennouvella photo

Last thing I read that was so good, not only did it knock my socks off, it stole them foreverThe Summer Book, by Tove Jansson. I read it not long after reading the first volume of Knausgaard’s book, and after reading Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante—both sock-stealers as well. In contrast to Knausgaard’s  fast maximalism, and Ferrante’s volcanic rage, Jansson’s prose is careful, reticent, and spare, yet the emotion that courses through her story is just as strong. It was instructive to see that something so quiet could be so affecting.  A young girl spends a summer mostly in her declining grandmother’s company, after her mother has died; the father, in his grief, throws himself into work, and is largely absent. Like the Knausgaard and the Ferrante—like all good family stories—The Summer Book asks how one can be one’s whole self in a family while supporting and submitting to the needs and desires of the other members, themselves whole persons, connected, but always separate.

Currently reading: Currently, I am reading Irretrievable, by Theodore Fontane. Like The Summer Book, it is a NYRB reissue. I will almost always buy a NYRB book; that press has led me to books I love, strange and unusual books that surprise me, and books I wouldn’t otherwise have known about, that interest me. Irretrievable falls in the last category: I don’t love it, but I’m interested. Nineteenth century German novel about a marriage falling apart.

Favorite novella: So many excellent works fall into that long story/short novel zone; for today, I will choose as a favorite novella Miss Lonelyhearts, by Nathanael West.

Favorite food in the entire world: My favorite food is a taco I ate in the Safeway parking lot in Guerneville, next to the taco truck; is a cheesy potato pancake I ate in a market in Paris; a blackberry I picked in West Marin in the late eighties; that peach ice cream we used to make; the beef stew with polenta my husband made when I was pregnant with our son; the lentil and bulgar salad with walnuts and tarragon I make every summer that no one likes as much as I do.

If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: If I had to recite a poem, I hope I would be allowed to use a book, since I don’t have any poems committed to memory; then I would recite Hopkins’ “The Windhover,” because it is so ecstatic and strange, and sounds good out loud.



Lauren PerezPhoto on 6-11-14 at 11.39 AM

Last thing I read that was so good, not only did it knock my socks off, it stole them forever: Karen Davis’s Duplex. Her prose is like unexpected fireworks–sudden, magical, and a little frightening in its beauty.
Currently reading: Joshua Ferris’ Then We Came to the End. Just started a new job, so it seemed appropriate.
Favorite novella: If I’m being honest, it’s The Crying of Lot 49. Or Bartleby.
Favorite food in the entire world: I have very strong feelings about burritos. And pie. Basically filling wrapped in carb casing=A+++
If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: in middle school they made us recite a poem in front of the class–something to do with public speaking. I chose Emily Dickinson for length reasons, and to this day I still have “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” memorized. (not really a feat at 8 lines)


Novella Month is the best month

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

novella month 2014

Our favorite month has arrived once more.  To celebrate, we’re putting the whole store on sale for 30% off (e-books are already discounted; no code necessary). And below, check out some of our favorite bits of novella-related things from the past year or so.


-Did you read Sleep Donation, a novella by Karen Russell? It was released by Atavist Books in March with a fancy, interactive website to supplement and promote the e-book format. A hopeful interpretation of the changing publishing landscape and where novellas fit in.


-We’ve got new brethren! Check out Black Hill Press, whose fearless leader, Kevin Staniec, is doing rad things for the novella form. There’s also the very handsome Dock Street Press. Both presses are actively seeking novellas!


-Our pals at The Lit Pub is also taking novella submissions!


The Deerbird Novella Prize, awarded by Artistically Designed Press, was awarded to Jenny Drai for Letters to Quince.


Adore, a novella by Doris Lessing, was made into a movie starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. (It was just OK.)


-Did you know that Song of Fire and Ice (aka the source material for Game of Thrones) author George R.R. Martin writes a ton of novellas? Because he does.


-Recent(ish) novellas we recommend:

Brown Dog, a collection of novellas by Jim Harrison

Dirty Love, a collection of linked novellas by Andre Dubus III

“The Hanging Fruit” in Joan Silber’s National Book Award-finalist collection Fools

The Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill. The big stamp on the cover of the book says “A NOVEL,” but c’mon, Knopf. It’s a novella if there ever was one, and a breathtaking one at that.


-Here’s the list of novellas we crowd sourced two years ago.