Curiosities

March 4, 2015

Finding Mavis 0

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Mavis Gallant, who passed away a year ago this February, published a total of a hundred and sixteen short stories in The New Yorker, which puts her on par with short story factories like John Cheever and John Updike. Yet by the time she died, she was penniless and alone, a fact which worried the few […]

March 4, 2015

Plight of the Loser 1

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Recommended Reading: Colson Whitehead on the rise of the “loser edit.” You could also read our review of Whitehead’s Zone One.

March 4, 2015

Dialing Down the Queasy 0

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In 1998, Matthew Stokoe kicked off his career as a novelist with Cows, a stomach-turning book set largely in the confines of a slaughterhouse. Now, Stokoe has written a book with a somewhat ironic title, considering it dials down the obscenity in comparison to his early work. Drew Smith interviews the author over at Full-Stop.

March 4, 2015

The Art of Fear 0

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At some point, Machiavelli became Machiavellian, which is to say that his personal views evolved into the self-centered credo we recognize. At Salon, an excerpt of a new biography of the writer, which digs up the formative events of his early life.

March 3, 2015

“How enterprising of you” 0

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A couple weeks ago, I recommended that budding Randians read this self-edifying excerpt, taken from Ayn Rand’s version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now, Rand has penned her own version of You’ve Got Mail, again kindly published by Mallory Ortberg.

March 3, 2015

A New Whodunit 0

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“They were town men. The sheriff and the other four went into his shack. One of them was Hines, the undertaker. They were in there for some time. They even opened the stove and dug through the ashes.” Stephen King has a story in this week’s New Yorker.

March 3, 2015

One Child Fiction 0

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In 2013, Mo Yan became China’s first resident Nobel Laureate in Literature, which prompted a huge swell of interest in his books in the West. In the Times, Janet Maslin reviews Frog, his latest novel to get an English translation. Sample quote: “Mo Yan, whose real name is Guan Moye, says everything he needs to about […]

March 3, 2015

A Visual Mind 0

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To get a full sense of the legacy of William Blake, you need to see his paintings alongside his famous poems. The Wordsworth contemporary did much of his best work — including the covers of his own collections — with a brush. At the New York Review of Books blog, Jenny Uglow pays a visit […]

March 3, 2015

Tuesday New Release Day: Barrett; Gurganus; Levy; Vann; Beatty; McGuane; Ishiguro 0

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Out this week: Young Skins by Colin Barrett; Decoy by Allan Gurganus; The Unloved by Deborah Levy; Aquarium by David Vann; The Sellout by Paul Beatty; Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane; and Kazuo Ishiguro’s first new novel in ten years (which our own Lydia Kiesling reviewed yesterday). For more on these and other new titles, check out our […]

March 2, 2015

Dear Jack 2

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Saul Bellow met Jack Ludwig at Bard College in the fifties. The two became friends, and founded a magazine together, called The Noble Savage. Then, not long after the magazine began running, Ludwig started an affair with Bellow’s wife. Here’s the letter Bellow sent him when he found out. You could also read our own Emily […]