Quick Hits

October 26, 2012

All Hallow’s Read: A Parents’ Guide to Scary Books for Young Readers 6

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As someone who models most attempts to spread her personal taste on the Marshall Plan, I am apt to seize any opportunity for book-gifting with fevered delight

October 4, 2012

All Creatures Great and Small: On Animals in Literature 2

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A brief catalogue of non-human animals seen and discussed in its pages would include deer, bees, ducks, a turkey, cats, a caterpillar, a goat, a pig, some chickens, an owl, two wasps, a peahen, horses, bats, some birds that are not further identified, and a snake. This seems to me, if not quite excessive, then at least curious.

August 24, 2012

Excerpt: The Opening Paragraphs of D.T. Max’s Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 18

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The first definitive treatment of David Foster Wallace’s life arrives next week.

July 26, 2012

The Rules: A Brief Instruction Manual for Writing Classes 3

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You would think it doesn’t need clarification, but apparently it does: When told to talk about a book you admire, it’s best to choose one you’ve already at least opened.

July 9, 2012

Exclusive: The First Lines of Zadie Smith’s NW 18

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There’s a lot for readers to look forward to in the second-half of the year, and high up on the list is Zadie Smith’s first novel in seven years, NW.

June 6, 2012

Exclusive: The First Lines of Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue 7

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We’re already looking ahead to a number of exciting titles coming this fall, and near the top of that list is Michael Chabon’s new novel Telegraph Avenue.

April 27, 2012

Let’s Translate this Thing: Murathan Mungan’s Cities of Women 13

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Anglophones have a rare opportunity here for a bit of friendly cultural one-upmanship with the French: In a talk last summer, Mungan told the assembled that his French publishers rejected Cities of Women because they wanted to advertise him strictly as a novelist. The introduction of his stories and plays and poems to the market, they told him, would “confuse” the French people.

April 12, 2012

The Books We Come Back To 62

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It shows adulthood and devotedness, I think, to try and get back to a book you love, every four seasons or so. So which books do you all reread yearly, or biannually, or quadrennially, or decennially, and why?

April 6, 2012

Even David Foster Wallace Nods 14

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Where Wallace probably went wrong was in confusing the Greek nomos, meaning “law,” with onoma, meaning “name.”

March 28, 2012

A Previously Unpublished Scene from The Pale King by David Foster Wallace 15

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Eagle-eyed readers looking at the cover of the soon-to-be-released paperback edition of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King may have noticed the words “With Four Previously Unpublished Scenes.”