Recent Articles

May 21, 2008

Appearing Elsewhere 1

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I stopped by the Vroman’s Bookstore blog today to answer some questions about teaching creative writing. On Tuesday, June 3rd, I begin teaching a 6-week beginning fiction class for their Vroman’s Ed program. Also, if you have a teenager, you might consider signing him or her up for my summer fiction writing class for high […]

May 21, 2008

Welcome to the Working Week 3: Garth 0

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[Editor’s note: This week we’ve invited Megan Hustad, author of How to Be Useful: A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work, to dissect our contributors’ first-job follies.] Garth writes: My first job out of college was writing for what was essentially a dot-com. In ways I wasn’t really aware of at the time, I thought […]

May 20, 2008

Cower, Hounds!: A Review of Roberto Bolaño’s Nazi Literature in the Americas 1

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It must have appealed to Roberto Bolaño’s sense of irony that novels, rather than poems, won him his place in the contemporary pantheon. For Bolaño’s protagonists, (and, we can imagine, for Bolaño himself) poetry is the art that endures. Still, to read Amulet or By Night in Chile is to find oneself immersed in verse […]

May 20, 2008

Welcome to the Working Week 2: Emre 0

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[Editor’s note: This week we’ve invited Megan Hustad, author of How to Be Useful: A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work, to dissect our contributors’ first-job follies.] Emre writes: The joyous Sunday nights at college became my biggest tormentors upon joining the ranks of working people in New York. I’d get the blues every Sunday […]

May 20, 2008

Ask a Book Question (#60): Suicide Notes 10

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Reese wrote in with this question: I’m a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA focusing mostly on literature. Over the summer I’m attempting to do an independent study of suicide in art and literature. The only thing is, I’m having trouble formulating a reading list. While I can certainly think of a […]

May 19, 2008

Welcome to the Working Week 1: Max 0

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[Editor’s note: This week we’ve invited Megan Hustad, author of How to Be Useful: A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work, to dissect our contributors’ first-job follies.] Max writes: When I finished college, I followed my then-girlfriend (now wife) to Los Angeles, where she was to attend grad school. Fortuitously, some buddies of mine from […]

May 19, 2008

Welcome to the Working Week: Megan Hustad Analyzes Our On-the-Job Foibles 1

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The concept of self-improvement through reading has always struck me as hopelessly vexed. I was surprised and delighted, then, to discover in Megan Hustad’s How to Be Useful an erudite, pragmatic, funny, and endearingly humble “Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work.” It was the kind of book I wish someone had given me when I […]

May 18, 2008

Curiosities 0

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The O.E.D., the ultimate bibliophile’s extravagance may never again appear in a new print edition, according to the New York Times. (via) “The most talked about books of the 2008 spring season,” according to European newspapers. Like Kennedy buffs hunched over stills from the Zapruder film, Bolaño enthusiasts may find themselves scrutinizing the cover design […]

May 15, 2008

Inter Alia #4: International Prizewinners and the Business of Translation 5

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[Editor’s Note: To plug a hole in the Inter Alia series, we’ve numbered this one out of order.] I know next to nothing about the translation business, except that it is vital to my reading habits. And so, earlier this week, I posted a little survey of international awards for fiction, along with the unobjectionable […]

May 14, 2008

Frey Lives On 5

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At first I couldn’t tell if Janet Maslin’s review of James Frey’s novel Bright and Shiny Morning was a joke or not. I guess she liked the book, but her homage to Frey’s style is so terrible, the start-stop prose so laughably bad, that I assumed she was making fun of the poor guy: He […]