Early push: This weekend, I’ve been helping my friend, Alice Randall, set up a website (with blog) [URL – www.alicerandall.com] that she will launch before the May 4 publication date of her new book, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades. When it is launched, I will link to her new website that will be found (but not yet) at www.allicerandall.com. On that site, you’ll find lots of background information about the book and links to dozens of poems, songs, Nashville restaurants, monuments and other topics mentioned.
Despite the book’s official May 4 “lay down” date, it is already available on Amazon.com and at local bookstores in Nashville (especially my favorite, Davis-Kidd). As the book is a lead title in Houghton-Mifflin’s spring catalog, it should be available everywhere within days, if not already.
I mentioned the book a few weeks ago when the New York Times profiled Alice and the book. The early reviews for the book are extremely positive. While not all as glowing as this one, I believe the reviewer, Linda Richards, editor of the online literary magazine, January, captures perfectly the book and its author.
Please read the review in its entirety, but here is an excerpt:
Beautifully-executed and seemingly unrelated bits coalesce to present a perfect finished piece. And I don’t use perfect lightly here: Had I the power to alter Pushkin and the Queen on Spades, I wouldn’t change a thing. It is just right as it sits. Perfect. There, I’ve said it again….
…It’s tempting — and I know some reviewers will give in to the temptation — to call Alice Randall — author of The Wind Done Gone — one of the most important black voices to emerge in the United States over the last several years. That statement, while true, is not true enough. Randall understands the stuff of which stories are made. She knows how to build characters we care about. She knows how to impart import without hurting our heads or our enjoyment. Randall’s strong, clear, important voice doesn’t require that qualification of color. I suspect that author would appreciate the distinction.
(Reading back over Linda Richard’s review, I know certain I’ve buried the lead on this post. Forget the website I’m working on. Just go get the book and read it. And please feel free to spread the word that the book is available.)