Curiosities

September 7, 2014

“Cool Characters” 0

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“What those who care about books must appreciate is that the boundaries between canonical and noncanonical have never been ironclad in African-American literature.” Clark C. Cooke writes for the LA Review of Books on black crime fiction and the rise of a “new African-American literary scene.”

September 7, 2014

Is Literature Useful? 0

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“Literature is the record we have of the conversation between those of us now alive on earth and everyone who’s come before and will come after, the cumulative repository of humanity’s knowledge, wonder, curiosity, passion, rage, grief and delight. It’s as useless as a spun-sugar snowflake and as practical as a Swiss Army knife.” Dana […]

September 7, 2014

The James Ellroy Phenomenon 0

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“His books used to be ink on paper; now we have to squint through the cloud of the Ellroy Phenomenon.” And the James Ellroy Phenomenon looks like it will only continue: the author has announced plans for a second L.A. Quartet, the first of which, Perfidia, comes out next week.

September 6, 2014

Richard Wright, 106 0

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Richard Wright‘s 106th birthday passed this last week, and in celebration The Paris Review posted an excerpt from a 2003 remembrance. Pair with our own Lydia Kiesling‘s review of Wright’s Native Son.

September 6, 2014

“Almost Like the Blues” 0

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Recommended reading (and listening): “Almost Like the Blues” by Leonard Cohen.

September 6, 2014

Measuring Detail Density 0

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“Every story that works gets the level of description that it needs. Which isn’t to say that the level of description needed for every successful story is the same.” Tobias Carroll surveys the wide variety of detail density in fiction for Electric Literature.

September 5, 2014

Most Misleading Machine Name 0

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Espresso Book Machines are coming to Barnes and Nobles stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, allowing customers to “make a physical print book of a hard-to-find book, a public domain title or self publish a book.” Espresso Book Machines also win our prize for “Most Misleading Machine Name.”

September 5, 2014

Between Mind and Feet 0

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Ferris Jabr writes for The New Yorker on the “profound relationship between walking, thinking, and writing,” and cites books such as Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway as evidence this “curious link between mind and feet” is a serious literary force. After you’ve finished reading Jabr’s piece, be sure to check out Michelle Huneven‘s essay “On Walking […]

September 5, 2014

New McEwan 0

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We recently linked to a new interview with Ian McEwan, whose latest novel The Children Act comes out next week. The LA Times has a full review of the new book, and the piece pairs well with Charles-Adam Foster-Simard‘s review of McEwan’s Sweet Tooth. And of course there’s Atonement, which comes up in a variety of […]

September 5, 2014

Jack White, Publisher 0

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Recommended reading: Lauren O’Neal writes for the LA Review of Books about analog music, Millennial poetry and Jack White‘s foray into publishing.