Padgett Powell - "Indigo" - Ann Kjellberg

Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Padgett Powell

Padgett Powell discusses Indigo. He will be joined in conversation by Ann Kjellberg. 

Presented in Partnership with BookPost

Virtual Event

Register HERE

About the book: Gathering pieces written during the past three decades, Indigo ranges widely in subject matter and tone, opening with "Cleve Dean," which takes Padgett Powell to Sweden for the World Armwrestling Federation Championships, through to its closing title piece, which charts Powell's lifelong fascination with the endangered indigo snake, "a thinking snake," and his obsession with seeing one in the wild.

"Some things in between" include an autobiographical piece about growing up in the segregated and newly integrated South and tributes to writers Powell has known, among them Donald Barthelme, Peter Taylor, Flannery O'Connor, Denis Johnson, and William Trevor. A throughline in many of the pieces is the American South--the college teacher who introduced Powell to Faulkner; the city of New Orleans, which "can render the improbable possible"; and the seductions of gumbo, sometimes cooked with squirrel meat. Also here is an elegy for Spode, Powell's beloved pit bull: "I had a dog not afraid, it gave me great cheer and blustery vicarious happiness."

In addressing the craft of fiction, Powell ventures that "writing is controlled whimsy." His idiosyncratic playfulness brings this collection to vivid life, while his boundless curiosity and respect for the truth keep it on course. As Pete Dexter writes in his foreword to Indigo, "He is still the best, even if not the best-known, writer of his generation."

About the author: Padgett Powell is the author of six novels, including The Interrogative Mood and Edisto, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and three collections of stories. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Paris Review, as well as in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Sports Writing. He has received a Whiting Award, the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction.

About the interlocutor: Ann Kjellberg is the Founding editor of Book Post, a bite-sized newsletter-based book review delivery service. She was on the editorial staff of the New York Review of Books from 1988 to 2017. In 2009 she founded the literary magazine Little Star and is the literary executor of the poet Joseph Brodsky. 

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