Curiosities

January 25, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Vonnegut, Salinger, Crime-Fighting Victorian Women, and More 0

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Lots of new books out this week: Where Mortals Sleep, previously unpublished short fiction by Kurt Vonnegut, with a foreword by Dave Eggers; A Life, one of what will be several biographies of J.D. Salinger arriving over the next couple of years; Stanley Fish tells us How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read […]

January 24, 2011

The So-Called Elite 2

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n+1 provides a fascinating study of today’s divisive concept of cultural elitism: “Today, though, it’s the bearers of culture rather than the wielders of power who are taxed with elitism. If the term is applied to powerful people, this is strictly for cultural reasons, as the different reputations of the identically powerful Obama and Bush […]

January 24, 2011

Contemporary Fiction and the Internet 0

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“The internet has altered our lives in ways television never did or could, but mainstream literary novelists – by which I mean writers who specialize in realistic, character-based narratives – have mostly shied away from writing about this, perhaps hoping that, like TV, it could be safely ignored.” Laura Miller examines how contemporary novels are […]

January 24, 2011

How Many Spaces After A Period? 3

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According to Slate: “Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.”

January 20, 2011

McSweeney’s 2.0 0

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Version 2 of McSweeney’s quirky iPhone app includes an ebookstore with custom-designed ebooks. “Whereas most ebooks have weird line breaks, stretched type and clunky fonts, ours are actually designed so they look just as they do in print – clean and beautiful.”

January 20, 2011

Tourney Time! 4

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The Morning News has announced the list of judges and, more importantly, the books in contention for the 2011 Tournament of Books. Yours truly is among the judges again this year and very excited for the action to get underway.

January 19, 2011

Edgar Award Nominations 0

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The Mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees for the 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Awards [pdf]. Nominees include Tana French for Faithful Place and Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon for Zora and Me (featuring Zora Neale Hurston, girl detective).

January 19, 2011

The Great American Novel 0

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How it all got started: in 1868, The Nation published an article by John William De Forest titled “The Great American Novel.” (via American Literary blog).

January 18, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Fallon, Brown, Sriracha 0

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New this week is a debut collection of loosely linked stories that’s been getting some attention. Military families are the common theme in Siobhan Fallon’s You Know When the Men Are Gone. Another newly released debut is Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters about a Shakespeare scholar’s three daughters, all named after characters from the Bard’s […]

January 18, 2011

Cursing at Poets 0

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At The Collagist, Kyle Beachy imagines the emperor Augustus saying to the poet Horace, “You and your kind are fucked!” “The Extent of Our Decline” is one of number of essays appearing in the collection I co-edited, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, coming in March from Soft Skull.