Notable Articles

January 18, 2011

The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia’s Novel Crisis 76


The rhythm of school is conducive to the writing of small things, not big things, and we don’t try hard enough to think beyond that rhythm because, for many of us, it’s the only rhythm we know.

January 3, 2011

Most Anticipated: The Great 2011 Book Preview 59


8,000 words strong and encompassing 76 titles, it’s the only 2011 book preview you will ever need.

December 16, 2010

A Year in Marginalia: Sam Anderson 34


It’s the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible.

December 12, 2010

A Year in Reading: Ed Champion (The 13 Most Underrated Books of 2010) 11


2010 was a great year in books!  This was a hard list to assemble!

November 1, 2010

The Soul-Sucking Suckiness of B.R. Myers 69


And so he whirled mirthlessly on, flourishing the word “prose” like a magic wand, working pale variations on his “Reader’s Manifesto.” Take that, Toni Morrison! In your face, Jonathan Franzen!

October 29, 2010

What We Teach When We Teach Writers: On the Quantifiable and the Uncertain 23


“I think the single most defining characteristic of a writer” – I found myself saying to a friend the other day, when she asked my thoughts on the teaching of writing – “I mean the difference between a writer and someone who ‘wants to be a writer,’ is a high tolerance for uncertainty.”

October 27, 2010

The Sorry State of the Rejection Letter 40


Sad but true, the rejection letter, like so many things in book publishing, is a shadow of what it used to be.

October 11, 2010

Gratuitous: How Sexism Threatens to Undermine the Internet 12


I like following Lisa’s blog because, for whatever reason, her narrative is compelling. Following it is somewhat akin to watching a reality TV show (Not one of the ones where they try to out-dance each other or diet for money, but one that just follows someone’s daily life). She’s my Jersey Shore.

September 10, 2010

Stieg Larsson: Swedish Narcissus 100


In any other book, I would see these tactics as pandering to the baser instincts of the reading public. But in this book, in which Mikael is so obviously a stand-in for Stieg, it’s just tacky. Especially since this Stieg/Mikael amalgamation has also appointed himself head of the Respecting Women Committee.

September 8, 2010

Is Big Back? 23


A mini-boom in big books would seem to complicate our assumptions about the Incredible Shrinking Attention Span.