Articles by Matt Seidel

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.

February 2, 2015

Gone in Thirty Seconds: On Michael J. Arlen’s Advertising Drama 0

The N.W. Ayer advertising agency came up with AT&T’s “Reach Out” campaign and its accompanying ditty, which melodically encouraged both telephone users and subway gropers to “Reach out, reach out, and touch someone!”

January 29, 2015

Garnish with a Sprig of Dorothy Parker: The Literary Meet Market 5

In terms of historical significance, The Summit’s publication falls somewhere between the Yalta Conference and this year’s Baseball Winter Meetings, at which the Yankees shored up their bullpen by signing a pitcher, Andrew Miller, whom Brian Cashman touted as Ron Guidry meets Emily Dickinson.

January 22, 2015

A Scorching Farce: Brock Clarke’s ‘The Happiest People in the World’ 0

The first law of farce is that bodies in motion will eventually collide, and Clarke orchestrates the inevitable collision by beckoning each character from across the world and assembling them at the Lumber Lodge under the watchful eye of the moose.

December 21, 2014

A Year in Reading: Matt Seidel 1

As our planet has rotated once again around the sun in a nearly perfect circle, I will now highlight several books from this year’s reading that move in more eccentric orbits