Recent Articles

January 12, 2011

Who Wrote the First Mystery Novel? 0

by

“Never mind whether the butler did it. Here’s a real mystery for you: Who wrote the first detective novel?” Paul Collins at the New York Times takes another look at the usual suspects.

January 12, 2011

Writing from the Garret: The Joys and Dangers of Readership 7

by

I’ve been wondering a lot about how sharing one’s writing with a larger audience alters one’s process–how having multiple readers, a potential world of them, can strengthen that process, and challenge it, and how it can also, if you aren’t careful, wound and compromise it.

January 12, 2011

Staff Pick: FreeDarko Presents The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History 6

by

To find truth — and in so doing, beauty — in the game is the height of sportswriting, a genre usually mired somewhere between tawdry gossip and vitriolic hyperbole.

January 11, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Baxter, McElroy, McSweeney’s, Carey 0

by

New out this week is Gryphon, Charles Baxter’s new collection of stories. Joseph McElroy also has a new collection of stories out, Night Soul. The latest McSweeney’s (featuring that fragment from an abandoned novel by Michael Chabon) is now available, and new in paperback is Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America. Many more new […]

January 11, 2011

Reading Writers’ Houses 4

by

Writers’ houses offer a curious mixture of reverence, nostalgia, fabrication, and history; but there’s a limit to the information that they can impart.

January 11, 2011

Exiles of Historical Fiction 4

by

The saying goes, “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it,” but in reference to historical fiction, a better saying would be, “Those who don’t add something new to the past are simply repeating it.”

January 10, 2011

The World’s Most Literary Rent Party 0

by

A literary event with an extremely star-studded guest list will be held next month for a good cause. The World’s Most Literary Rent Party Ever will raise money for author Charles Bock’s wife, who is receiving treatment for leukemia, and will include Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mary Gaitskill, Joshua Ferris, Rivka Galchen, Amy Hempel, […]

January 10, 2011

Harry Potter V. Willy the Wizard 0

by

Lit crit becomes a legal matter: “The contrast between the total concept and feel of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity,” wrote the English judge who has dismissed the case against J.K. Rowling brought by the estate of Willy the Wizard author Adrian Jacobs.  Jacobs’ estate claimed […]

January 10, 2011

Measuring Hell 0

by

“Given his devotion to empirical fact, it seems odd to think that Galileo’s most important ideas might have their roots not in the real world, but in a fictional one.” Galileo’s crucial contributions to physics may have come from measuring the hell of Dante’s Inferno.

January 10, 2011

The Afterlife of David Foster Wallace 0

by

“Wallace’s status has rapidly evolved from marginal writer, noted for long, experimental work, to indispensable reference point for people writing about almost anything—from college football to WikiLeaks.” On the powerful afterlife of David Foster Wallace.