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by Jennifer Egan
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Here’s what I learned, after a month of talking to editors, literary agents, publishers, and other authors: A paperback isn’t just a cheaper version of the book anymore. It’s a makeover. A facelift. And for some, a second shot.
"I am in love with the gorgeous, elastic, leaping human brain that shuffles and connects disparate pieces of the world into a coherent story."
Last night, the winners of the National Book Critics Circle Award were announced in New York City.
Do we ever really “forget” the author? Does she ever truly recede when we are reading gender-crossing works? Do we necessarily want her to?
The fiction list includes four books that have gotten quite a lot of attention over the last year
The number of novelists with a claim to having published major work this year forms a kind of alphabet: Aira, Amis, Bolaño, Boyd, Carey, Cohen, Cunningam, Donoghue...
The two books that most stood out to me this year spoke broke through that haze by reminding me what language can still do.
I found myself thinking about that long-ago interview—the advice he’d unknowingly doled out—and picking up some of the shorter novels on my bookshelves.
It's the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible.
The book opens with a narrow focus, then telescopes outward.
One prize winner graduates to our Hall of Fame, another debuts.
This year’s New York Times Notable Books of the Year list is out. Sticking with the fiction exclusively, it appears that we touched upon a few of these books as well.
Not much action on the list last month, but a pair of favorites are pushing higher.
“I think the single most defining characteristic of a writer” – I found myself saying to a friend the other day, when she asked my thoughts on the teaching of writing – “I mean the difference between a writer and someone who ‘wants to be a writer,’ is a high tolerance for uncertainty.”
Doesn't every reader, male or female, young or old, find that phase of life to be particularly dramatic, moving, screwed up, and beautiful?
A financial meltdown post-mortem graduates to the Hall of Fame and a Booker shortlister debuts.
I've noticed an interesting trend recently toward what seems to me to be the deliberate miscategorization of books. Specifically, an insistence on the part of some publishers that practically everything’s a novel. I understand the reasoning behind it—novels, the argument goes, are somewhat easier to sell than either novellas or short story collections, and all’s fair in love, war, and literary fiction sales strategies—but it still seems unfortunate to me.
You know who grabbed the top spot, but which other two literary superstars made a splash on The Millions' list in August?
I spent a great deal of time on tour this summer, reading at bookstores from southern California to New Hampshire, and I encountered Larry Watson’s Montana 1948 toward the end of all this, a hot day in Ann Arbor when I had some time to kill before an event.
A (NYRB) Classic and a prizewinner graduate to the Hall of Fame. Two summer reading favorites debut on our list.
As time has gone on, I have become interested in telling stories that are more complicated and less streamlined, and so I'm looking for more ways to do that as efficiently and powerfully as I can.
I've always sought out writing metaphors and similes because they articulate the strangeness, joy, and frustrations of such an abstract activity, one that requires you to dream and to focus at the same time.
Fans of Egan’s previous novels will be intrigued and excited, I think, to delve into her work in this new (for her) collage, time-shifty, polyphonic form.