In Person

November 3, 2010

Marfa: Donald Judd’s Melancholy Monument 3


Judd is an artist who deserves our attention, but the degree of cultural canonization and institutional validation that has been conferred on his work at Marfa is commensurate with the very highest levels of achievement.  Who decided that Judd’s legacy is that important?

October 29, 2010

Report from the Future of Reading: The Books in Browsers Conference 8


It’s only through seizing the social reading moment, so to speak, that the publishers can hope to wrestle some measure of control back from the tech companies that have come to dominate their industry.

September 28, 2010

Scattered Out Over the Land: A Southern Hamlet Crawling with Writers 8


Greensboro, North Carolina, is that true American anomaly – a place where there seem to be more people writing serious books than reading them.

August 25, 2010

A Novel in Three Days 11


Seventy-two hours to produce a novel? The International 3-Day Novel Contest proves that writing can be an extreme sport.

June 24, 2010

Report from Paris: Kicking around at the Shakespeare and Company Festival 5


The theme of the festival was “Storytelling and Politics,” and over three days, 6,000 people gathered in a tent in a small park across the river from Notre Dame to hear writers talk through the relationship between the storyteller and his political context. But the World Cup was on everyone’s mind.

March 9, 2010

Sonya Chung at McNally Jackson 3/10 0


Millions Contributor Sonya Chung will read from her just-released novel Long for This World at McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street, NYC, on March 10 at 7pm.

December 14, 2009

Jonathan Franzen, Honesty and the Lines of Literature 7


In Tübingen, Jonathan Franzen talked candidly and casually about his struggles as a writer. En route, though, he made a stealthy attempt to re-frame literature so that he and his project occupied its absolute center.

September 15, 2009

Fear, Imagination, and “Making Things Peculiar” at the Brooklyn Book Festival 3


“Gogol was a strange creature, but genius is always strange; it is only your healthy second-rater who seems to the grateful reader to be a wise old friend, nicely developing the reader’s notions of life.”

July 24, 2009

Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music #4: Serenaded by Jonathan Richman 2


Jonathan Richman, along with his long-time drummer Tommy Larkins, took the stage, strummed his acoustic guitar and began to sing. Nothing. The mikes weren’t working. Where other performers, and indeed lesser legends, might have turned diva, Jonathan simply announced – loudly, to make up for the microphone – that he and the techies would confer […]

July 22, 2009

Notes From The Fringe 2


When I first began living in Toronto, I used to book off the week of the Film Festival. In those days it seemed much less schmoozy, more communal and low-key. Going from cinema to cinema, seeing multiple films each day, chatting with fellow movie buffs while waiting in lines. It was a treat. But I […]