December 24, 2011

A Cheat Sheet for All You New Kindle (And Other Ereader) Owners 3


For all those readers unwrapping shiny new devices, here are some links to get you going.

December 5, 2011

12 Holiday Gifts That Writers Will Actually Use 41


Writers get blank journals for the same reasons that teachers get mugs, assistants get flowers, and grandmothers get tea. If you want to give the writer in your life something he or she will truly adore, here are twelve ideas.

November 29, 2011

Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List 172


You see, Reader, I still don’t plan on self-publishing my first novel, though I don’t deny the positive aspects of that choice.

November 22, 2011

The Notables: 2011 1


This year’s New York Times Notable Books of the Year list is out. At 100 titles, the list is more of a catalog of the noteworthy than a distinction. Sticking with the fiction exclusively, it appears that we touched upon a few of these books as well: The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo (Most Anticipated) […]

October 28, 2011

Seven Reasons Why Alexandre Dumas Will Never Die 5


If every smart person’s goal in life is to die broke, then Dumas was an unqualified success. But while a lesser man would have bemoaned the cruelties of fate that left him penniless on his deathbed, Dumas had this to say about death as it approached him in 1870: “I shall tell her a story, and she will be kind to me.”

September 28, 2011

Very Bad Things: A Pessimistic Reading List 9


Troubling works of fiction for troubled times.

September 21, 2011

The Life and Afterlife of Literary Theory: A Syllabus 18


In 1996, NYU physics professor Alan Sokal tricked the preeminent journal of postmodern thought into publishing his article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” The piece was pure gibberish.

September 10, 2011

Recovery in Pieces: A Study of the Literature of 9/11 15


We can’t blame earnest authors for trying. It just wasn’t long enough ago yet.

September 6, 2011

Ten Things I’ve Learned over 12 Years of Sending Out Stories 20


Perhaps the most embarrassing (and humbling) rejection I received was: “Sorry – but we can’t consider anything with an f word in it. You surely must know that BYU is church-sponsored.”

August 10, 2011

Homage vs. Rip-off: An Interview with Lev Grossman and a Guide to Literary Allusions in The Magician King 14


“When people think you’ve plagiarized from another writer, rather than alluded to them, the reaction is extreme. They get angry. It’s a dangerous game; you have to get it right.”