Articles by Matt Seidel

November 24, 2015

Penny Dreadful: Writing on a Budget 0

When it came time to begin work on a new novel, I headed for a retailer that could help me break into the NYT bestseller list without breaking the bank.

November 19, 2015

Family Secrets: On Matthew Spender’s ‘A House in St. John’s Wood’ 0

Auden, playing the role of “kind but didactic wizard,” would teach Stephen Spender’s young son about adjectives or compose “Tolkienish poems” with him.

October 29, 2015

And Then We Pick: On Ed Caesar’s ‘Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon’ 0

Seconds don’t come cheap in elite racing, and the two-hour marathon, at least when Caesar was writing his book, was still 218 seconds away.

October 28, 2015

A Life on the Rocks: Steve Toltz’s ‘Quicksand’ 1

There’ll always be a place for the sad sack in fiction, heroes of topsy-turvy Bildungsromans who regress or stall rather than develop.

June 12, 2015

No, No, Nanette: A Profile 3

I asked one last question before closing my notebook, one to which every writer and agent is dying to know the answer: Will Nanette ever decide to publish a book?

May 27, 2015

Let Me Think About It: On Recommending Books 15

“Got any good books to recommend?” For me, the equivalent of a politician’s “gotcha” question.

May 22, 2015

Off Leash: On André Alexis’s ‘Fifteen Dogs’ 1

Alexis’s conceit, in which dogs are caught between human and canine worlds, in a sense reflects their real-life predicament: dogs are creatures upon whom owners project distinctly human intelligence and emotions.

March 25, 2015

The Weight of Knowledge: On Moving Books 8

It would be trickier to decide whom to put in the adult diaper boxes.

March 9, 2015

The Inanity of American Plutocracy: On Paul Beatty’s ‘The Sellout’ 1

Beatty’s voice is as appealing, erudite, and entertaining. It is a lacerating, learned, witty, and vulgar voice — brash and vulnerable and self-righteous in its jeremiad against self-righteousness of any kind.

February 18, 2015

Nothing But a Hound Dog: Mikheil’s Javakhishvili’s ‘Kvachi’ 4

The novel, which began as a series of sketches, hurtles from one of Kvachi’s scams, scrapes, or seductions to the next, pausing every so often to drive home the monstrosity of its hero.