Recent Articles

October 12, 2007

Awards Season Musings 1

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In noting our new Nobel Laureate on Thursday, I also mentioned that “dating back to my bookstore days, out of all the major literary awards – the National Book Award, the Booker, and the Pulitzer – only the Nobel reliably drove significant interest. On the day the prize was announced, customers on the phone and […]

October 12, 2007

The Librarians Speak 1

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A treat for all New Yorker obsessives, Emdashes’ “Ask the Librarians” series has a new installment up. If you’ve always been dying to know the history of the “Tables for Two” column or the origin of the “cover strap,” this one’s for you.

October 11, 2007

Doris Lessing Nabs the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature 1

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So, it wasn’t Philip Roth, Amos Oz, Joyce Carol Oates, Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, or Thomas Pynchon. Instead the honor has gone to Doris Lessing, a British writer who has explored themes of social issues and dabbled in science fiction. She debuted in 1950 with The Grass is Singing and has been shortlisted for the […]

October 10, 2007

2007 National Book Award Finalists Announced 1

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This year’s National Book Award finalists have been announced. In the fiction category, the big name is Denis Johnson, who immediately becomes the presumptive favorite for his novel Tree of Smoke. Joshua Ferris, meanwhile, makes a splash with his debut effort Then We Came to the End. And in the nonfiction category, let’s not ignore […]

October 9, 2007

Pagination Blues 2

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My last post touched on the Pynchon wiki, and a quick visit over there reveals an unexpected problem the wiki’s participants are dealing with: Just got some, um, interesting news that the paperbacks of Against the Day will be paginated differently from the hardbacks. And, adding insult to injury, the UK paperback won’t be paginated […]

October 9, 2007

Visual Lit Crit 2

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I’ve got an affinity for diagrams. I find the books of Edward Tufte fascinating, and my interest in such things extends even to the “infographics” contained in most newspapers. I like the idea of distilling something complex down to a visual representation. And what is more complex than Finnegans Wake, which was the subject of […]

October 8, 2007

The Media and the War 1

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The role of media in war has long been big and complicated, but by the time Iraq rolled around the media had become both more and less powerful. TV news has been beset by falling ratings, aging viewers, and a sense that the national newscasts and their anchors are less and less relevant. At the […]

October 7, 2007

Relocation 1

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Millions headquarters moved last weekend. We only went a few blocks, so it was far less trying than some of our past efforts (though being first time homeowners has brought its own set of challenges.) Long time readers of The Millions may demarcate the “chapters” of the blog by the various moves I have made […]

October 5, 2007

Brooklyn Volleys 0

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I borrowed my roommate’s issue of New York Magazine to occupy myself with some light reading on the subway this week. Also residing in my bag, my copy of David McCullough’s 1776, which I discussed briefly here last time. There is a big difference between a Pulitzer-winning non-fiction book and a somewhat glossy bi-weekly periodical, […]

October 3, 2007

Boycott the New Yorker Festival… 3

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…is what I will again be forced to do this year, my darling, barring some eleventh-hour issuing of press credentials or a sudden reduction in ticket prices. For a while now, you – the greatest magazine in the history of American magazines – have tantalized me annually with your Festival’s smorgasbord of literary talent. And […]