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  • You can’t write about Robert Lowell without writing about mental illness — the poet went through many stretches of mania and psychosis in his life. In the Washington PostMichael Dirda reads a “medico-biography” of Lowell, which takes a full measure of his lifelong illness and its consequences.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Tom Hanks’s debut collection of short stories is due out in October. “The theme of the collection will be typewriters,” reports The Guardian, “with each tale involving one of these more and more scarce machines.”


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    ~Nick Moran
  • In his new book, Pill City, journalist Kevin Deutsch set out to tell the real story of how, following the 2015 Baltimore riots, Charm City’s streets became flush with heroin and pills. But now local writers are raising serious questions about the veracity of Deutsch’s account. Among others, The Wire creator David Simon has called the book “a wholesale fabrication.” Last week, Newsday announced they were “reviewing Deutsch’s work over the four years he worked here,” and the New York Times, where Deutsch has contributed, followed suit.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • Russian movie producer Svetlana Migunova-Dali is working with U.S. producer Grace Loh, who produced Hot Tub Time Machine, to adapt Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita for the big screen. They say they’re working with a feature film budget of up to $100 million, and they want A-list actors to fill out the cast.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • Out this week: The Schooldays of Jesus by J.M. CoetzeeDear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun LiThings We Lost in the Fire by Mariana EnriquezRunning by Cara Hoffman; The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth HoganLast Day On Earth by Eric Puchner; and The World to Come by Jim Shepard. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • A Nottingham-based theatre company will adapt Millions staffer Chigozie Obioma’s Man Booker-shortlisted novel The Fishermen for the stage. The production is scheduled for next year.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • From now until February 28th, you can grab New York Review of Books Classics titles at a steep discount.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman has reportedly completed another trilogy, The Book of Dust, that will publish in October of this year. The new works “will stand alongside his bestselling series,” sources say.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • New this week: Lincoln in the Bardo by George SaundersShadowbahn by Steve EricksonThe Fortunate Ones by Ellen UmanskyAll That’s Left to Tell by Daniel LoweThe Weight of Him by Ethel RohanThe Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble; and Be My Wolff by Emma Richler. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended Reading: Colson Whitehead’s review of George Saunders’s first novel.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “Aphorisms are linguistic memes. They were, in essence, an attempt by Greek philosophers to go viral 2,500 years before the internet existed.” On the form of the aphorism, and Sarah Manguso’s new book.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Millions staffer Mark O’Connell immersed himself in the “transhumanist” movement for more than a year, checking in on such characters as Zoltan Istvan, the quixotic U.S. presidential candidate perhaps best-known for driving a coffin across the country. O’Connell’s book, To Be a Machine, which details dreamers like Istvan envisioning human existence liberated from the outmoded confines of the human body, publishes this month.


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    ~Nick Moran

Read More The Millions Top 10 January 2017