In Person

April 21, 2014

The London Book Fair: Many Tote Bags but Few Industry Solutions 5

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This old, sad debate talks about print and digital books as if they weren’t two sides of the same coin. Worry about book sales dropping more broadly, and start to think about the real ways that digital can reshape books.

April 16, 2014

A History of Love (of Bookstores) 5

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I have a long string of past loves, but they’re all bookstores.

April 8, 2014

A Day in the Life of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop 42

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On a dismal midwinter Thursday, we – eighteen current students of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, poets and fiction writers alike – set out to chronicle one ordinary 24-hour period in our lives. Hannah Horvath: take note.

March 20, 2014

La Chasse: On Hunting in the French Countryside 4

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For a “blood sport,” la chasse is peaceful. “This is all so civilized,” a foreign policy advisor originally from Montana once remarked to me (even though gunfire blasted around us).

February 28, 2014

The Poet and the Movie Star: An Evening with Frank Bidart and James Franco 6

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Bidart wanted to have dinner with Franco so that he could explain his intentions in writing “Herbert White” (which is written in the first-person character of a necrophiliac murderer), plus, he said, “Of course I wanted to have dinner with James Franco! He was brilliant in Pineapple Express!”

February 24, 2014

Is She Writing About Me?: A Profile of Lorrie Moore 7

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Moore tells the story of a man she once dated who became suspicious of a specific character. “First of all, the character is a woman,” she remembers saying to him, “Second of all, darling, the character has a job.”

October 24, 2013

The 10 Things I Learned From Gay Talese That Will Get Me a Job at The New York Times 5

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As a writer’s writer, Talese delivered these tips from a somewhat mythical place where pieces in magazines were paid for handsomely, weren’t due in one day, and were allowed to run at considerable lengths.

October 21, 2013

The Busiest Bar in Publishing 1

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Hemingway put the Parisian bar, Harry’s, on the map. Dylan Thomas did the same for Manhattan’s White Horse tavern. This fall, Victor Giron’s Chicago watering hole, Beauty Bar, might prove just as instrumental to independent literature.

October 16, 2013

Brad Bumsted: An Old-School Reporter Still Getting the Story, and Still Getting It Right 3

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Brad Bumsted is an important reminder that good journalism will always be built on what it was originally built on – not technological innovations, but on the ability of dogged, savvy, intelligent reporters to gather information and quickly turn it into factual, even-handed and engaging prose. Few people have done it longer than Brad Bumsted. Few do it better.

October 4, 2013

Letter from Israel: On Gas Masks and Belonging 8

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There is absolutely room for these refugees in the story of Israel. All throughout the Bible, the experience of slavery in Egypt is used to engender compassion and humane treatment of the most vulnerable peoples in the population. So what I don’t understand, what I refuse to understand, is why this story — one of the oldest and most beautiful in the world — cannot inspire the most compassion, the most open arms, the most justice.