Curiosities

March 25, 2015

The Spy Who Saved Me 0

by

How did Ian Fleming come up with James Bond? It’s easy to think, considering the political context of his era, that Fleming tailored his superspy to be the ideal hero of the Cold War. Yet there’s another, more prosaic explanation — was the author simply having a midlife crisis?

March 25, 2015

Poor Gatsby 0

by

The Great Gatsby debuted in 1925 to poor sales and mediocre reviews. So how did it become one of the most famous novels in America? At Slate, Cristina Hartmann explains how Fitzgerald’s opus, which netted the author royalties worth a grand total of $13 in his lifetime, went on to become a classic. Related: our own Bill Morris […]

March 24, 2015

Light Us Up 0

by

For whatever reason, the Zippo lighter has earned a place as an icon of Americana, a symbol of everything simple and reliable in the country. At the Ploughshares blog, Nancy McCabein pays a visit to the Zippo Museum, punctuating her account with quotes from works of literature that feature the lighter.

March 24, 2015

“You hurry the day when Colum McCann serves you a chalupa” 0

by

“Hey, I noticed you checking out my tote bag. I’m sure you see a lot of totes on the train, all about food co-ops or public radio or theater repertory companies. But me, I use this expanse of unbleached cotton-canvas blend to say one thing: I love books.”

March 24, 2015

The Case of the Aching Wallet 0

by

We’ve published a fair number of articles on the issue of finance and employment in a writer’s life. In general, writers assume that the ideal source of income, at least as far as it concerns their own careers, is one that leaves them free of worries and blessed with ample time. In the latest Bookends, Mohsin […]

March 24, 2015

Granta Redux 0

by

This week, Granta redesigned its website, which now boasts a spiffy black-and-white aesthetic. If you’re looking for an excuse to check it out, you could do worse than reading Year in Reading alum Hari Kunzru’s “Drone,” a story which appears in their India issue. (They’re also highlighting great pieces from their archives, among them the story […]

March 24, 2015

Tuesday New Release Day: Kiefer; de los Santos; Mitchell; Ferguson; Yglesias; Bhutto; True, Quade; Dostoevsky 0

by

Out this week: The Animals by Christian Kiefer; The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos; A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell; The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson; The Wisdom of Perversity by Rafael Yglesias; The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto; The Wednesday Group by Sylvia True; Night […]

March 23, 2015

Transitions 0

by

In the latest issue of The Walrus, Casey Plett reads a number of books involving transgender people, critiquing several aspects of their depictions. Along with the essay, she provides a list of transgender novels everyone should read, including Nevada by Imogen Binnie and Wanting in Arabic by Trish Salah.

March 23, 2015

Secret Machines 0

by

Recommended Reading: Cody Delistraty’s interview with Kazuo Ishiguro. You could also read our own Lydia Kiesling on the author’s new novel The Buried Giant.

March 23, 2015

Today in Irish Poetry 0

by

Need a dose of new Irish poetry in your life? The Irish Times (naturally) has you covered. In the Saturday edition, John McAuliffe reviews two new and notable collections: The Boys of Bluehill by Eilean Ni Chuilleanain and The Days of Surprise by Paul Durcan.