“You Think That’s Bad” is Almost Here!

Hello Jim Shepard fans!  Apologies on my end for not being as diligent as I should be about blogging, but now I will be back with renewed enthusiasm because Jim’s book “You Think That’s Bad” will be released on March 22!  (Which is also, coincidentally, my 30th birthday,  so I am convinced that this will be a lucky year for me!)

So, in the meantime, go ahead and pre-order the book at Amazon or Powell’s or another bookstore of your choice, and check back here for more updates.

Also, please note that Jim Shepard will be doing a book tour this spring to promote his new collection.  And I can’t stress enough that along with being a great writer,  Jim Shepard is one of the FINEST readers alive today, and the chance to meet him in person is an experience not to be missed.  If you don’t believe me, check out some of the videos I’ve posted on this blog and see for yourself.  I’ll be publicizing his upcoming trips as much as possible, so please come and bring your friends, and prepare for a wonderful evening.

Your comments about his work, your experience of his work, etc. are always welcome and I will be happy to post them to this blog.  Thank you for visiting and please keep in touch.

Jim Shepard reads TODAY at Arizona State University

(From ASU’s website)

Nov. 4, 2010
1:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m.

Jim Shepard, a novelist and short-story writer who is known for his darkly humorous tales and work that explores the pain of male adolescence, will discuss his work during a Public Craft Q&A at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 4 at the Piper Writers House on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

Shepard then will read and sign books at 7:45 p.m., also on Nov. 4, in Recital Hall in the Music Building on the Tempe campus. Both events are free.

Winter with the Writers Series at Rollins College

This will make you wish you were a student at Rollins.  From the website:

Some of the best writers from across the United States will take part in the 2011 Winter With the Writers, A Festival of the Literary Arts. In keeping with the College’s long-standing commitment to contemporary literature, the 2011 season features a diverse mix of the country’s most respected authors, including novelist and short story writer Jim Shepard and Irving Bachelor Professor of Creative Writing for 2010-11 David Henry Hwang.

The 2010 season of Winter With the Writers, A Festival of the Literary Arts, spotlights four major contemporary writers–the standing American poet laureate, two National Book Award winners in fiction and non-fiction, and the fine author of a novel made into a critically acclaimed movie–adding to the Rollins College tradition of creating a local literary community of international note. Before them, Sinclair Lewis, Zora Neale Hurston, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Carl Sandberg, Michael Ondaatje, Maya Angelou, Derek Walcott, Margot Livesey, Billy Collins and scores more writers have shown audiences in Central Florida how, out of the imagination, a stream of story moments or images can collect and then be arranged into narratives or lyric interludes to tell us how we live and who we are.

Jim Shepard will be joining this program on January 20, 2011.  Here’s a quote about Jim on their website:

“His narrators are a varied lot — a cosmonaut in love, Aeschylus at war, a kid packed off to summer camp. But what they share in common is a proximity to disaster and an uneasy sense that the distance between “what we want, and what we do” is as wide as it is deep. Everybody hurts. Everybody knows this. But Shepard knows it better. He also knows how to write his way around the mawkish side of this hurting. Stories that in lesser hands could easily go soft and sentimental are rendered here with clear eyes and true grit.” – Benjamin Alsup, Esquire.

To learn more about the Winter with the Writers Series at Rollins College, click here.

Ghosts and Curses Event at Mass MOCA, Oct. 30

This sounds like a fun evening!

Chosen by New York Magazine, The Village Voice and NY Press as the best reading series in NYC, and singled out by the New York Times Magazine for helping to “keep downtown, NY alive,” The Happy Ending Series features a unique format. Readers are required to take one public risk. The musicians who play short sets interspersed with the reading, are required to play one cover song and try to get the audience to sing along. MASS MoCA transports this recipe for mischief north for a special Halloween edition featuring indie singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding, and local author Jim Shepard.

Here are the details:

Saturday, October 30, 2010, 8:00 pm
Club B-10
$12 in advance / $16 day of / $10 students / 10% members discount

87 Marshall Street
North Adams, MA 01247

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Ploughshares Hosts Jim Shepard in Boston, Oct. 12!

Jim Shepard is the guest editor of the supurb literary journal, Ploughshares.  And Jim will be reading on October 12th at the Paramount Theater – and all Bostonians should come!  Here’s the complete info:


Jim Shepard Reading, hosted by Ploughshares

Author(s): Jim Shepard
Category: Reading
Date: Oct 12, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm

Location: The Paramount Theater
Address: 555 Washington St., Boston, MA 02115

Additional Information:
Email: pshares@emerson.edu
Phone: 617-824-3757

Ploughshares and Emerson College invite you to the Ploughshares Reading Series featuring celebrated author Jim Shepard, guest editor of the Fall 2010 issue of Ploughshares. Shepard will host a reading of his work at 6 p.m.

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and two short story collections. He was recently nominated for the National Book Award for his latest collection of short stories, Like You’d Understand Anyway, about which the New York Times Book Review said, “To praise Shepard’s mastery of voice is to undersell what these stories are doing; it isn’t the voice Shepard inhabits but the world. . . . Shepard is an impressive writer, but I wasn’t impressed until I finished the book: I was too busy being enthralled.” Shepard is also a frequent contributor to The Believer and the New York Times Book Review, he teaches at Williams College.

Shepard promises to be a compelling speaker, given his “…instinct to ferret out and further discuss the unexpected strangeness wherever it surfaced in my work.”

The reading will be held in the Paramount Theater, 555 Washington St., Boston , MA 02115. The nearest subway stops are Downtown Crossing (Red and Orange Lines) and Boylston (Green Line). Parking is available at the Boston Common Garage on Charles Street between Boylston and Beacon Streets.

Ploughshares was founded in 1971 by DeWitt Henry and Peter O’Malley and has been based at Emerson College since 1989. Published three times a year, each issue is guest-edited by a prominent writer, most recently Tony Hoagland and Elizabeth Strout. Upcoming editors include Terrance Hayes, Colm Tóibín, and DeWitt Henry. To subscribe to Ploughshares, please visit our website, http://pshares.org/. The Fall 2010 issue was released in August 2010.


If you aren’t a reader of Ploughshares, please check out their website and consider subscribing.

Jim Shepard at Sirenland in 2011!

Jim Shepard will be teaching at Sirenland Writer’s Conference, taking place in March 2011 in Positano, Italy.  For a lucky group of writers, this will be their chance to study under one of the finest teachers of fiction in the country.

For all those writers out there who want to spend a week with Jim, Dani Shapiro, and Peter Cameron, now is your chance.  Application time is upon us and you have until the end of October to send it in.

For more information about Sirenland – and to apply – visit the Sirenland website.

“One of the finest short story writers working today”

Here’s a great article about Jim Shepard and the Berkshire Wordfest:

Jim Shepard, a professor of writing and film at Williams College, often tells his students that one of the ways you can tell you might be a writer “is if you have to write in order to feel good about yourself, although writing almost never makes you feel good about yourself.”

Shepard should know: He is the author of six novels and two collections of short stories, and his widely anthologized stories have been included in editions of “The Best American Short Stories” in 1994, 2002 and 2006. Shepard also has a number of distinguished literary awards to his name, including the Pushcart Prize, the Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Award.

Because of his numerous accolades and contributions to the literary world and his connection to the Berkshires, Shepard is one of the many accomplished writers that came to Audrey Manring’s mind when planning the list of distinguished literary speakers for the inaugural Berkshire WordFest at Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox, set for July 23-25.

“Jim Shepard up in Williamstown is one of the finest short story writers working today,” Manring, the 2010 Berkshire WordFest director, said of the local writer.

Shepard will join nearly 20 nationally acclaimed contemporary writers in celebrating the written word at the inaugural festival at the former home of one of America’s most highly esteemed female writers, Edith Wharton. Many of those writers reside in the Berkshires and its surrounding areas.

Click here to read the rest of the article.  The Berkshire Wordfest takes place this coming weekend!  Visit their homepage, or you can click here to order tickets.