by Emily St. John Mandel
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept is a staggering accomplishment, an exquisite and often ecstatic rendition of a tumultuous affair: “Jupiter has been with Leda, I thought, and now nothing can avert the Trojan wars. All legend will be broken, but who will escape alive?”1
by Ethan Hauser
Ask any writer about the rules he’s heard throughout the years, and he will be able to recite a litany as deeply embedded as the Lord’s Prayer. Show, don’t tell. Write what you know. The first sentence is key. The last sentence is key. All writing is rewriting. No adverbs. No one aside from you finds your dreams interesting. You should never write in the second person.6
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Mark O'Connell looks at Tommy Wiseau’s "The Room". the "Face-Palm Fresco Affair" and explores the secrets of viral fame.Buy for $1.99
In lieu of writing a legitimately popular book, or having Barack Obama photographed while being “given” your book, it appears that you can get onto the New York Times bestsellers list for about $200,000.
A new, non-profit literary journal has launched in Austin, Texas. Each issue of The Austin Review will include four pieces of flash non-fiction, four short stories, and one work of critical analysis. Special attention will be paid to writers from the city that gave us Sixth Street.
Citing the cliché that people “only become interested in a country’s literature once we start bombing in” as his reason, Chad Post takes a close look at some recently published Ukrainian books.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s cinematic adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice now has an official release date. That’s right. Starting December 12th, you’ll be able to catch Joaquin Phoenix starring as ‘60s stoner P.I. Larry “Doc” Sportello.
Interested in reading some of the indie and small press books coming out in 2014, but don’t know where to start? Michael Seidlinger put together a great Cheat Sheet of titles to get excited about this year. Think of it as a complement to our Great 2014 Book Preview.
“Usually, with a novel, you start with no idea what to do because your job is to create convincing characters and then they just run around getting crazy. The problem with writing a memoir, obviously, is you can’t do that because you sort of know what’s going to happen. Because you’re the character.” – Gary Shteyngart
“There are people out there who want you to write their novels for them,” observes professional ghostwriter Sari Botton. Over at Scratch, she shares some advice for breaking into the industry. Also, the magazine has made her longer article about “the spooky finances behind her gigs” free to read – all you have to do is register.
Recommended Reading: “Joseph Brodsky in Venice (1981)” by Campbell McGrath, one of the best poets in South Florida.
People like to think that the more books they read, the better people they’ll become. But is that really true? The answer’s unclear. But one thing does seem apparent: reading more books might make you better at bullying people.
Five finalists have been named for this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction: Daniel Alarcón’s At Night We Walk in Circles, Percival Everett’s Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, (Year in Reading alum) Joan Silber’s Fools, and Valerie Trueblood’s Search Party: Stories of Rescue. One winner will be selected on April 2, 2014, and a celebratory dinner will be held in its honor on May 10. You can read up on all of the finalists over here.
Between the 40 Towns project organized by Jeff Sharlet’s Dartmouth students and the newly unveiled Vanishing Point project from Duncan Murrell’s students at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, it seems abundantly clear that college students are better at putting together web publications than 99% of established publishing outfits. Begin your tour with Christine Delp’s look at a blind man who makes his own martinis, and then check out other stories such as Ge Jin’s photographic essay on Chinese university students.
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Read More The Millions Top 10 January 2014
The Goldfinch Donna Tartt
Selected Stories Alice Munro
The Flamethrowers Rachel Kushner
The Luminaries Eleanor Catton
The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose Alice Munro
Draw it With Your Eyes Closed Paper Monument/n+1
Bleeding Edge Thomas Pynchon
The Lowland Jhumpa Lahiri
The Interestings Meg Wolitzer
Just Kids Patti Smith