Quick Hits

May 19, 2011

Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Air: Reconnecting with Children’s Books as a Parent 13

by

The market for children’s books is probably more resistant to cultural churn than just about any other slice of the consumer economy; it’s a closed circuit that reproduces itself one generation after another.

May 5, 2011

Requiem for a Video Store 9

by

By the latter half of the decade the slide was irreversible: if Blockbuster had been injurious, Netflix was a cancer.  And so was On Demand, Hulu, and the thousand other ways we now put stories before our eyes.

March 25, 2011

A Writer Without Borders 9

by

As a reader and writer, the current moment is endlessly confusing to me. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a one-man mission to save publishing, buying books weekly from indies and chains alike, for the sake not only of my future work, but that of future writers, young people far from urban centers, dreaming up stories in Texas or Idaho or Michigan.

March 15, 2011

Exclusive: The First Lines of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King 25

by

The book’s lyrical opening sentence may be familiar to Wallace completists.

February 3, 2011

Ismail Kadare and the Girl in the Bridge 2

by

When I was a child traveling to my family’s ancestral home in Northern Greece, we would always come to a point in the road where the left went north to Albania and the right went northeast into the Pindus mountains.

January 31, 2011

Je est un autre: David Wojnarowicz’s Rimbaud in New York 4

by

Wojnarowicz was deeply aware of the trajectory he shared with the youthful and precocious Rimbaud.

January 28, 2011

Lisbeth Salander, The Early Years: Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking 7

by

Pippi Longstocking never quite breaks the laws of physics, but she is an impossible creature, a fantasy of empowerment: rich, self-confident, unnaturally strong, perpetually delighted, never compromising, never defeated.

January 27, 2011

In Praise of Literary Reports 3

by

Have we already lost interest in the Gulf oil spill, or is it possible that the report itself is to blame for our fading interest?

January 10, 2011

In Which the Author Recalls Reading Huck Finn As a Child 2

by

I was walking down the stairs with the book in hand because, though a fairly precocious young reader, I’d come across a word I’d never seen before.

January 10, 2011

My Resolution for 2011: Stop Blaming the Internet 7

by

The Internet was the big bogeyman, the great scapegoat of 2010.