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by David Shields
I wanted to see if I could create literary non-fiction out of short-term memory.
It's the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible.
Exactly six months after the release of The Ask, sales are strong, it sits proudly on featured tables in bookstores, and every lit nerd that you know is raving about it. How Sam Lipsyte grabbed the literary limelight.
You know who grabbed the top spot, but which other two literary superstars made a splash on The Millions' list in August?
With four books heading to the Hall of Fame, that means we have four new books landing on the list, ranging from hard-boiled Scandinavian thrillers to historical fiction in 18th century Japan to a 12-year-old literary biography with a twist.
Tinkers debuts and The Corrections graduates. Plus, a controversial new number one.
The author of Reality Hunger explains it all for you: "When I began, I was just trying to follow the Kafka dictum 'A book should be an axe to break the frozen sea within us.'"
Franzen stays on top. Sebald to the Hall of Fame. Tolstoy debuts.
David Mitchell graduates to the Hall of Fame, Michael Lewis debuts, and we have a new number one.
"Crucial for me in writing this book was my vexed sense of the way in which great nonfiction is badly boxed in by straightahead memoir, on the one hand, and straightahead fiction, on the other."
There's something for every lover of fiction coming in 2010, but, oddly enough, the dominant theme may be posthumous publication.
Amid all the lists to round out the year, we offer a new installment of our annual Year in Reading series: an anti-list, as it were.