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  • It’s not often that a major publisher listens to a new author when they request a specific painting be used for their book cover. But they listened to Naomi Jackson, and over at the Literary Hub she explains her choice of cover art for Star Side of Bird Hill and the Caribbean significance behind it.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • A new kind of book review: 5 artists interpret and critique literature through works of visual art.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • This week in book-related infographics: Electric Literature has recommendations for summer reading, organized by location and required concentration level. Going to Italy? Try A Room with a View. Craving a tropical get-away? Read The Beach, obviously.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • After his death, fans of David Foster Wallace canonized him as a prophet, according him a degree of benevolence shared by almost no one in American letters. In New York Magazine, Christian Lorentzen argues that Wallace himself worried about this happening, and says he’d “probably be the last person to argue for his sainthood.” His essay pairs nicely with Jonathan Russell Clark on The David Foster Wallace Reader.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended Reading: Audrey Hepburn’s son on his new book about his mother’s recipes.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Readers of the 1960s and 70s ran into many people who worried that writers were learning from television. In 2015, the concern is slightly different — are writers taking cues from video games? At the Ploughshares blog, Matthew Burnside tackles the game-ification of books.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Last week, I pointed readers to a speech by the late James Salter, reprinted by The Paris Review Daily in tribute to the writer after his death. For a fan appreciation, you can read Kevin Lincoln in Hazlitt, who leads his piece with the observation that Salter “wrote sentences you could unfold into paper lanterns.” Pair with our own Sonya Chung’s review of Salter’s All That Is.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Over thirteen years, John Berryman wrote his famous Dream Songs, composing his most innovative and well-known poetry while his own life began to unravel. In a piece for the LRB, August Kleinzahler reappraises the poet to mark a raft of new editions of his work, citing Randall Jarrell, Saul Bellow and other contemporaries in the process. Pair with Stephen Akey on The Dream Songs.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “When Michael reads in one of the society columns that are hilariously reprinted here, misspellings and all, that Astrid’s jewels aren’t blingy enough, he flies into a fury of inadequacy. This leads him to try to buy one of Singapore’s rarest architectural masterpieces and turn its ground floor into a museum for his car collection, which includes a car from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; fortunately, his offer is turned down.” On Kevin Kwan’s China Rich Girlfriend.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • If you’ve ever heard that literary skill is synonymous with a good memory, you’ve likely bemoaned your own forgetfulness, especially when it comes to important things. Tim Parks felt the same way, until he read a new book on forgetting, which led him to wonder how much knowledge we can retain. In The New York Review of Books, he tackles the paradox of the reader’s memory. You could also read our own Mark O’Connell’s review of Parks’s book Italian Ways.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • In a way, this is the opposite of an interview: a series of conversations held exclusively between chatbots. At n+1, Nick Levine constructs dialogue straight out of Beckett. Pair with Houmon Barekat on Finn Brunton’s history of spam.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Out this week: Local Girls by Caroline Zancan; The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson; The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens; Kay Boyle: A Twentieth-Century Life in Letters; Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell; and a new translation of the poems of Catullus. Support The Millions: Bookmark this link and start there when you shop at Amazon.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith