Articles by Michael Bourne

August 15, 2012

“A Right Fit”: Navigating the World of Literary Agents 100

If it sounds like I’m saying, “It’s all about who you know,” that’s because that is exactly what I’m saying. You can rail about how unfair that is, and how it makes publishing into an incestuous little club, and to a degree you would be right. But that’s the way the machine is built, people.

August 3, 2012

Appearing Elsewhere 0

My piece in memory of novelist and rapier-tongued pundit Gore Vidal, who died Tuesday, appears on Prospero, the online arts & culture publication of The Economist.

July 25, 2012

47 Endings Can’t Ruin A Great Novel: Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms 1

Would you want to read a war novel called Love Is One Fervent Fire? Or Death Once Dead? Or, God forbid, One Event Happeneth to Them All? Evidently, Hemingway considered all these and many more even worse ones before making a note to himself, “Shitty titles,” and going with A Farewell to Arms.

June 29, 2012

The High Line: New York’s Monument to Gentrification 29

The High Line is the distressed skinny jeans of public parks, the gourmet taco truck of urban tourist attractions.

June 21, 2012

Appearing Elsewhere 2

Prospero, the new arts and culture blog of The Economist, has just posted my piece on literary Brooklyn, which explains how New York’s trendiest borough has become a vertically integrated factory for the production of fiction and poetry.

June 19, 2012

Our First Jadak President: David Maraniss’ Barack Obama 3

Barack Obama is a wholly new kind of American president, part white, part African, who wears sarongs and is fluent in Hawaiian pidgin.

May 23, 2012

Across the Border: Richard Ford’s Canada 8

One comes away from Canada feeling as though a less gifted author was trying to write a knock-off of a Richard Ford novel, and has made a hash of it.

May 8, 2012

Appearing Elsewhere 0

The spiffy new Los Angeles Review of Books website has posted my review of Ben Fountain’s new novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.  

May 3, 2012

America’s Jug-Eared Achilles: Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power 2

In this five-volume biography, Caro is trying to write the epic poem of The American Century, with tall, jug-eared, foul-mouthed LBJ as his flawed tragic hero.

April 30, 2012

The Bathrobe Era: What the Death of Print Newspapers Means for Writers 22

We are creating a generation of riff artists, who see their job not as creating wholly new original projects but as commenting upon cultural artifacts that already exist.