Tag Archives: wesleyan writing

Amy Bloom’s “Little Sweet Potato”

 “It’s not all mulch and sunshine out there.”

“A perfect little book,” is what Amy Bloom ’75, Wesleyan’s writer-in-residence, calls her NYTimes-featured first children’s book, Little Sweet Potato:

“I realize you’re not supposed to say that about your own book. But I love it sort of unabashedly,” Ms. Bloom said of the 29-page tale, which follows the trials of a “lumpy, dumpy, bumpy” young tuber who is accidentally expelled from his garden patch and must find a new home. On his journey, he is castigated first by a bunch of xenophobic carrots, then by a menacing gang of vain eggplants (Little Sweet Potato “didn’t know the world had such scary vegetation in it,” writes Ms. Bloom). By book’s end, the intrepid, tenderhearted potato is accepted into the “Hodge-Podge Patch,” where inhabitants welcome vegetables and flowers of all kinds. 

Odede to write book; waxes poetic with Wesleying about it

“I have been through a lot in my life, so I have a lot to say and remember.

Student. Activist. Organizer. Philanthropist. NYT op-ed writer. NYT op-ed subject matter. One-time hip-hop producer. One-time subject of would-be hip-hop producers. Campus personality. Pine street resident.

Kennedy Odede ’12 is a composite of all these things, on top of everything else that he is. But you probably already know this, if you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled and ears open, and most importantly, if you’ve been following this blog to any capacity. If not from us, then probably from the Argus, the university’s website, Idealist.org, or even your mother. An exemplary representation of why Wesleyan possesses the granola hopey-changey do-good public persona it does, Mr. Odede as a tale and a legacy has consistently been surging upwards in the public sphere. Continuing this trend is the recent addition of two more items to his ever-increasing list of descriptors: book author and book subject. Bouncing off a strong reception to Nick Kristof’s op-ed in the New York Times, he has decided to start working on a book about his life.

No surprise, really. After all, Mr. Odede is, in and of himself, a living embodiment of the rags-to-friggin’-awesome story (a popular variant of the rags-to-riches story). Born into toughness in the slums of Kenya, he fought for social justice all the way into his early 20s, which is when a college girl from Colorado – Jessica Posner ’09 – suddenly shows up, joins him in the fight for social justice, and then transplants him to Connecticut, USA, where he continues to fight more for social justice. The narrative also has a layer of romance; to put it in Nick Kristof’s words: “And one more thing to make the story perfect: In June, after Kennedy graduates, he and Jessica plan to marry.”

That’s a book waiting to happen right there, with some crazy-ass neo-noir film adaptation – written and directed by Charlie Kaufman (or more realistically, Sean Penn as financed by Bill Clinton) – surely to follow.

On Zach’s supreme command, we here at Wesleying got in contact with him to talk about it – and he was nice enough to send a detailed email back (including the picture up there). Read on?

Russell House Series Begins With Douglas A. Martin, Clifford Chase, and Kit Reed

Head to Russell House this Wednesday to hear Wesleyan’s Clifford Chase, Douglas A. Martin and Kit Reed at the first of the semester’s Writing at Wesleyan events.

CLIFFORD CHASE is the author of Winkie, a novel, and The Hurry-Up Song, a memoir. He edited the anthology Queer 13: Lesbian & Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade, and his writing has appeared everywhere from Newsweek to McSweeney’s.
DOUGLAS A. MARTIN‘s books include Your Body Figured, In the Time of Assignments, and Once You Go Back: A Novel. His first book, Outline of My Lover, was selected as a TLS International Book of the Year.

KIT REED’s recent books include The Baby Merchant, J. Eden, Thinner Than Thou, and the gripping dystopian thriller Enclave. Her many collections of short stories include Thief of Lives, Dogs of Truth, and Wired Women. A Guggenheim fellow and the recipient of a grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation, Reed is resident writer at Wesleyan.

Book signing and reception to follow reading!

Date: Wednesday, September 15th

Time: 8 PM

Place: Russell House, 350 High Street