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Valerie Martin

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NEWS
June 5, 2003 | From Associated Press
American writer Valerie Martin has won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel "Property." The Orange Prize is given to the best English-language novel by a female writer and carries an award of $40,000. The book, about a plantation owner's wife in the American South, takes place in the 1820s. It was described in a Salon review as "a ferociously honest book" about black-white relations and slavery.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2009 | Regina Marler, Marler is the editor of "Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America on to Sex."
A man walks down a pier on the Jersey shore alone at night, leans on a decrepit railing and falls through into the black waves below. Just as his strength gives out, he feels a pair of arms around him -- a rescue. He owes his life to another man. This strange debt -- analyzed, negotiated, shirked -- is the molten center of Valerie Martin's subtle but intense seventh novel, "The Confessions of Edward Day." Set in New York theatrical circles in the 1970s, it follows an ambitious young actor, Day, as he tries to make his name even as he's dogged at every step by his look-alike rival, Guy Margate, who happened to have once saved Edward's life.
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BOOKS
July 12, 1987 | Lynne Bundesen
Sex in "A Recent Martyr" is riveting, mature and believable. Theology is not. In a book that supposes to address the question of an individual's relationship to God, this matters. Emma is having a torrid affair with Pascal and then they each meet Claire. Claire is a virgin, an aspiring nun and the possessor of the ambition to one day be a saint. Pascal is obsessed by Claire. Knowing Claire makes Emma give up her sexy encounters with Pascal.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2008 | Bob Thompson, Washington Post
WASHINGTON -- This is what it's come to, folks: A distinguished editor and a widely respected writer are talking about getting naked and jumping off cliffs. The setting is lunch at a Washington restaurant. The editor is Doubleday's Nan Talese, who has taken the train down from New York for the occasion. The writer is Valerie Martin, whose latest novel is "Trespass." The topic at hand: What will it take to get the American public to pay attention to Martin's book?
BOOKS
September 23, 2007 | Richard Eder, Richard Eder, a former Times book critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
AFTER his famous journey to the East, so the story goes, Marco Polo is booked on a lecture tour to the United States. In Texas, the first question he gets is: "What do you think of Houston, Mr. Polo?" American exceptionalism. American self-absorption. The blindness to other cultures, other kinds of pride, other ways to fight for them. That blindness has ludicrously skewed our recent efforts to shape the world (in order to sculpt, you need to see).
BOOKS
March 27, 1994 | Francine Prose, Francine Prose's most recent book is the story collection, "A Peaceable Kingdom."
Valerie Martin's "The Great Divorce" is the kind of fiction that can briefly refocus and broaden the scope of what we notice about the world. Not long after finishing the novel, I found myself paying rapt attention to a TV advertisement for a collection of videotapes that seemed made up of scenes of snarling jungle creatures ripping each other to shreds. "Find out why we call them animals," droned the portentous voice-over.
BOOKS
February 7, 1988 | Susan Slocum Hinerfeld, Hinerfeld reviews frequently for The Times.
"The Consolation of Nature" is a title ironically meant. (It is also cleverly wrought, to sound authentically Romantic.) The principal subject of these freakish short stories is the fatal relation between people and animals. It's nightmare stuff: The rat scrambling in a child's long hair; the mermaid with her prize of fisherman's testicles; the dead cat, head trapped in a salmon can; the mice fed casually to the snake; the vicious dog, put to death. No consolation here.
BOOKS
January 21, 1990 | Judith Freeman, Freeman is the author of "The Chinchilla Farm," a novel.
A "fine bogy tale," frightening and vivid, was once dreamed by a husband who, crying out in his sleep, was awakened by his startled wife. Instead of feeling relieved at escaping the nightmare, he felt irritated that she had interrupted such an exciting story. Nevertheless, the dream survived, was eventually embellished by the dreamer (who also was a writer) and turned into a work of fiction. The husband was Robert Louis Stevenson; the tale became "Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2009 | Regina Marler, Marler is the editor of "Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America on to Sex."
A man walks down a pier on the Jersey shore alone at night, leans on a decrepit railing and falls through into the black waves below. Just as his strength gives out, he feels a pair of arms around him -- a rescue. He owes his life to another man. This strange debt -- analyzed, negotiated, shirked -- is the molten center of Valerie Martin's subtle but intense seventh novel, "The Confessions of Edward Day." Set in New York theatrical circles in the 1970s, it follows an ambitious young actor, Day, as he tries to make his name even as he's dogged at every step by his look-alike rival, Guy Margate, who happened to have once saved Edward's life.
NEWS
February 12, 1990 | ELIZABETH MEHREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There were times when Valerie Martin thought she might end up heeding the advice she gives her own students: Never mind what people say, never mind what they think, just keep writing. She and her daughter, Adrienne, moved an average of once every two years. She taught at universities in New Orleans, Alabama, New Mexico and Massachusetts. None of the four novels she wrote in eight years managed to get published. One of Martin's books was rejected by 20 publishers.
BOOKS
September 23, 2007 | Richard Eder, Richard Eder, a former Times book critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
AFTER his famous journey to the East, so the story goes, Marco Polo is booked on a lecture tour to the United States. In Texas, the first question he gets is: "What do you think of Houston, Mr. Polo?" American exceptionalism. American self-absorption. The blindness to other cultures, other kinds of pride, other ways to fight for them. That blindness has ludicrously skewed our recent efforts to shape the world (in order to sculpt, you need to see).
BOOKS
July 23, 2006 | Lelia Ruckenstein, Lelia Ruckenstein is a critic and the editor, with James A. O'Malley, of "Everything Irish: The History, Literature, Art, Music, People and Places of Ireland, From A to Z."
IN this sharp, finely crafted collection, Valerie Martin, author of the novels "Property" and "Mary Reilly," leaves behind the historical to peer into the lives of modern-day artists -- painters, writers, dancers and actors. At once psychologically insightful and playful, Martin here strips away the romantic notions of the artist and satirizes the art world: An artist sleeps with a gallery owner to get a show and, when he becomes famous, paints imitations of his own work.
NEWS
June 5, 2003 | From Associated Press
American writer Valerie Martin has won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel "Property." The Orange Prize is given to the best English-language novel by a female writer and carries an award of $40,000. The book, about a plantation owner's wife in the American South, takes place in the 1820s. It was described in a Salon review as "a ferociously honest book" about black-white relations and slavery.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2001 | CARA MIA DiMASSA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It's a small building, really, nothing more than a one-room chapel, of simple construction. For hundreds of years, supplicants and pellegrini--the Italian word for pilgrims--have flocked to this place, called the Portiuncula, on the plains below Assisi, at the base of Mt. Subasio. They touch its doors, bend in prayer in front of its altar and honor Francesco di Pietro Bernardone, the man who died there in October 1226 and was canonized as a Catholic saint less than two years later.
NEWS
July 23, 1999 | MICHAEL FRANK, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The young American woman touched and transformed by the beguilements of Italy is a staple of American letters. In earlier generations, the prototype, displaying pluck and innocence, defied convention and often ended badly, disgraced or dead (think of Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever" or Henry James' "Daisy Miller"); nowadays she is older, more experienced, more careful--rather like her native land--but Italy retains the power to shake her up nevertheless.
BOOKS
March 27, 1994 | Francine Prose, Francine Prose's most recent book is the story collection, "A Peaceable Kingdom."
Valerie Martin's "The Great Divorce" is the kind of fiction that can briefly refocus and broaden the scope of what we notice about the world. Not long after finishing the novel, I found myself paying rapt attention to a TV advertisement for a collection of videotapes that seemed made up of scenes of snarling jungle creatures ripping each other to shreds. "Find out why we call them animals," droned the portentous voice-over.
BOOKS
July 23, 2006 | Lelia Ruckenstein, Lelia Ruckenstein is a critic and the editor, with James A. O'Malley, of "Everything Irish: The History, Literature, Art, Music, People and Places of Ireland, From A to Z."
IN this sharp, finely crafted collection, Valerie Martin, author of the novels "Property" and "Mary Reilly," leaves behind the historical to peer into the lives of modern-day artists -- painters, writers, dancers and actors. At once psychologically insightful and playful, Martin here strips away the romantic notions of the artist and satirizes the art world: An artist sleeps with a gallery owner to get a show and, when he becomes famous, paints imitations of his own work.
NEWS
July 23, 1999 | MICHAEL FRANK, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The young American woman touched and transformed by the beguilements of Italy is a staple of American letters. In earlier generations, the prototype, displaying pluck and innocence, defied convention and often ended badly, disgraced or dead (think of Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever" or Henry James' "Daisy Miller"); nowadays she is older, more experienced, more careful--rather like her native land--but Italy retains the power to shake her up nevertheless.
NEWS
February 12, 1990 | ELIZABETH MEHREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There were times when Valerie Martin thought she might end up heeding the advice she gives her own students: Never mind what people say, never mind what they think, just keep writing. She and her daughter, Adrienne, moved an average of once every two years. She taught at universities in New Orleans, Alabama, New Mexico and Massachusetts. None of the four novels she wrote in eight years managed to get published. One of Martin's books was rejected by 20 publishers.
BOOKS
January 21, 1990 | Judith Freeman, Freeman is the author of "The Chinchilla Farm," a novel.
A "fine bogy tale," frightening and vivid, was once dreamed by a husband who, crying out in his sleep, was awakened by his startled wife. Instead of feeling relieved at escaping the nightmare, he felt irritated that she had interrupted such an exciting story. Nevertheless, the dream survived, was eventually embellished by the dreamer (who also was a writer) and turned into a work of fiction. The husband was Robert Louis Stevenson; the tale became "Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
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