Essays

June 18, 2009

Slinging Stones at the Genre Goliath 40

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Sonya Chung is a freelance writer and creative writing teacher who nourishes her split personality by living part-time in the S. Bronx and part-time in rural PA. She writes and grows vegetables in both places. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, BOMB Magazine, and Sonora Review, among others. Her first novel, […]

June 16, 2009

A Book is a Place: A Profile of Joe Meno 1

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At 35, Joe Meno has already published seven books and told Judith Regan – the infamous publisher of books by Jenna Jameson and (almost) O.J. Simpson – “You suck it.” He’s a sincere supporter of independent bookstores and presses, and he values the community of artists in his hometown of Chicago, where he still lives. […]

June 8, 2009

So What if They’re Wordy?: An Open Letter to Kanye West 23

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Jeff Hobbs grew up amid the perfumy mushroom farms of Kennet Square, PA. He is the author of the novel, The Tourists, as well as dozens of grant proposals written on behalf of the African Rainforest Conservancy, for which he served as Executive Director for three years. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife […]

June 5, 2009

The Reading Coincidence 2

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I’m sorry to be redundant and mention books about which I have just written, but I wanted to remark on a phenomenon. So, last week, discovering that I was out of things to read, I visited a secondhand book shop with ten minutes to spare and grabbed, basically at random: The Heart of the Matter […]

June 4, 2009

The Lost Arts of Recitation 3

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Tania James is a graduate of Columbia’s School of the Arts and the author of the novel, Atlas of Unknowns (Knopf), which The San Francisco Chronicle calls “dazzling, original, and deeply absorbing…one of the most exciting debut novels since Zadie Smith’s White Teeth.” Junot Diaz called the book “an astonishment of a debut, so radiant […]

June 1, 2009

1Q84 Revealed 5

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Haruki Murakami’s new novel 1Q84 has come out swinging. With an initial, combined print run of 680,000 copies, publisher Shinchosha believes the two volume book is on track to sell a million and “become a social phenomenon.” Released two days early (May 27th) in Tokyo and the Kansai region, the book has already sold over […]

May 27, 2009

Murakami’s 1Q84 is a Heavyweight 5

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As the Japanese release date for Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 approaches, more information has begun to appear. Although the plot and the title’s meaning remain a total mystery, Amazon.co.jp has put up a page count, and it’s a whopping 1,055 pages. While size isn’t everything, it seem to be working in the book’s favor; published in […]

May 19, 2009

Murakami Fans Rejoice: Counting Down to 1Q84 4

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In just under two weeks, Japanese publisher Shinchosha will be releasing Haruki Murakami’s new novel, 1Q84. The Millions broke the news about the new novel last October, when Murakami discussed it during a reading held at Zellerbach Auditorium in UC Berkeley. Now, with the release of the novel imminent, the Internet is crawling with speculation […]

May 5, 2009

The McPhee Syllabus 5

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John McPhee somewhat famously teaches writing to undergrads at Princeton. So, what’s on his syllabus? McPhee has been one of my favorite writers ever since I absently picked up a copy of Coming into the Country while working the cash register at Book Soup in L.A. and blazed through it in a day or two. […]

March 9, 2009

Just for the Thrill of it? 5

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“Oh there’s no pleasure. Except that I don’t have to work with someone who bullies me,” Colm Tóibín recently declared in response to M.J. Hyland‘s question about the enjoyment he derives from writing books. He was emphatic that this has always held true, and that the one pleasure of his career is, “The money.” He […]