Curiosities

February 28, 2015

Comma Confessional 0

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“One of the things I like about my job is that it draws on the entire person: not just your knowledge of grammar and punctuation and usage and foreign languages and literature but also your experience of travel, gardening, shipping, singing, plumbing, Catholicism, Midwesternism, mozzarella, the A train, New Jersey. And in turn it feeds […]

February 27, 2015

Alice Munro’s First Book 0

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“I didn’t really understand what reading was for. If I wanted a story, the thing to do was to get my grandmother to read it to me. Then listening to her voice, her story-reading voice which always sounded a little incredulous, marvelling, yet full of faith, bravely insistent, and watching her face, its meaningful and utterly […]

February 27, 2015

Day Jobs 0

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This week in book-related infographics, round 2: Lapham’s Quarterly takes a look at the day jobs of famous authors, among them T.S. Eliot, who was responsible for processing reports on German debt, and Charlotte Bronte, who had laundry fees deducted from her pay. Pair with our own Emily St. John Mandel‘s essay on “Working the […]

February 27, 2015

Stars and Bodies 0

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Recommended listening: David Naimon interviews Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star, about “anorexia and astronomy, stars and bodies.” Pair with Alex Norcia‘s Millions review of Gerard’s novel here.

February 27, 2015

Theories on Jim Harrison 2

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“How is it possible that a smallish army of discerning readers agree that Jim Harrison is one of the few truly great living American writers, yet he has not gotten the wider audience—or the widespread praise—he so plainly deserves?” Our own Bill Morris has some theories.

February 26, 2015

One Darkness to Another 0

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“It’s the marriage of one kind of darkness to another… the black storm cloud of Neel’s pen is well suited to Dostoyevsky’s questions of God, reason, and doubt.” On Alice Neel‘s illustrations for The Brothers Karamazov, from The Paris Review.  Pair with our own Kevin Hartnett’s much lighter take on the novel, “Reading The Brothers […]

February 26, 2015

Plotting Genres 0

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This week in book-related infographics: “A Plotting of Fiction Genres” from Electric Lit.

February 26, 2015

“Tongue-in-Cheek Tocqueville” 0

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“‘So your idea is to drive across America and write about it without talking to a single American?’ ‘Yes.’” Karl Ove Knausgaard travels North America as “a tongue-in-cheek Tocqueville” for the New York Times Magazine.  Pair with his piece for The Millions, “The View from My Window is a Constant Reminder,” and with Jonathan Callahan‘s reading […]

February 26, 2015

Lydia’s Advice 0

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“Be patient – even with chaos.” Advice for the upcoming writer from Lydia Davis.

February 25, 2015

The Peripatetic 0

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Over the past fifteen years, Mohsin Hamid has moved from New York, to London, and to Lahore, Pakistan, with stints in Italy and Greece. His new book, which came out yesterday, is a series of essays about his odyssey across the world, chronicling his observations and experiences that led him to move. At Bookforum, a […]