In Memoriam

September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll, 1950 – 2009 4

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in the subculture of which Jim Carroll was a sort of poet laureate – one of them, anyway – the movie of The Basketball Diaries registers only as a minor souvenir.

July 7, 2009

Vasily Aksyonov, Giant of Russian Literature, Dies at 76 0

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It would be a shame if the death of the Russian novelist Vasily Aksyonov yesterday got lost in the welter of cultural losses that surrounds it. Aksyonov is one of the towering literary figures of the postwar era – one who might have been more widely recognized as such were it not for the strictures […]

January 28, 2009

John Updike, 1932 – 2009 1

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When other writers at a 1986 PEN panel on “How the State Imagines” were lamenting Cold War militarism, John Updike offered a hymn of praise for the U.S. Postal Service: “I never see a blue mailbox without a spark of warmth and wonder and gratitude that this intricate and extensive service is maintained for my […]

January 27, 2009

John Updike RIP 0

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As many have likely already heard, John Updike died today. The New York Times and innumerable other outlets are remembering his gargantuan contribution to American letters. We’ve talked about Updike many times here at the Millions; for starters, there was Corey Vilhauer on the Rabbit Angstrom novels, James Hynes on Rabbit at Rest, and Hamilton […]

January 4, 2009

Remembering Glenn Goldman and Book Soup 1

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Glenn Goldman, founder and owner of Book Soup, an independent book store in West Hollywood died yesterday. Goldman died of pancreatic cancer, an illness that came on suddenly, and he leaves behind two sons and his store. Glenn created, almost out of nothing, a great treasure of a book store that has meant a lot […]

January 4, 2009

R.I.P., Glenn Goldman 6

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Glenn Goldman, the owner and founder of Book Soup in West Hollywood, California, died yesterday from complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 58 years old. I first worked at Book Soup when I was nineteen, and I returned after graduating from college. I loved the place, and I still do; it’s my favorite book store […]

November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton RIP 1

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Michael Crichton died Wednesday after a bout with cancer. Crichton looms large in my history of reading. While other writers introduced me to the potential of literary fiction, it was Crichton who really stoked my love of reading between the age of 12 and 15. I remember reading Sphere in the high school library during […]

November 1, 2008

Studs Terkel RIP 0

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Studs Terkel died at 96 on Friday. In Chicago, Terkel’s adopted home, he was regarded as a local treasure. Terkel had a long radio career hosting shows on which he conducted wide-ranging interviews, but he was perhaps best known for his series of oral histories. The genre is now quite popular, encompassing topics from punk […]

September 24, 2008

On DFW’s Death 0

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I first heard the news of David Foster Wallace’s death the morning after my wedding. I was walking around the small downtown that hosted the weekend’s festivities and ran into a couple, friends of the bride. They had left the wedding the night before with my college roommates, the group steaming back to a rented […]

September 14, 2008

David Foster Wallace 1962-2008 12

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I. It seems fitting to begin a reflection on the late David Foster Wallace in a fit of anxiety about reception – about the propensity of words, sentences, personae, to falsify or to be misunderstood. For example: I know this seems fraudulent and fanciful and like the scratching of some deep narcissistic itch, to write […]