Recent Articles

March 8, 2007

A Plague of Sorts 1

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After finding out the Harold Bloom has read pretty much everything there is to read, Sandra announced that she had contracted Bloom Syndrome: “a condition in which the sufferer is unable to read any work of literature unless it is deemed Significant by Harold Bloom.” Luckily a number of readers provided various antidotes in the […]

March 8, 2007

So Far So Good 1

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With one round done in TMN’s Tournament of Books, things are looking good for The Millions bracket which, along with Condalmo, was the only one that had Brady Udall picking Chimanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun over Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart. How did I decide to pick it? It was a favorite of […]

March 7, 2007

Capitalism Births a Chinese Kafka 0

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As anyone who keeps up with world financial markets surely knows, the People’s Republic of China is booming. After the quashing of the Chinese democracy movement in Tienanmen Square in 1989, Deng Xiaoping did an about-face and introduced capitalism as a panacea for the woes of his country. Echoing the call “to get rich is […]

March 6, 2007

Oprah Going To The Dogs? 2

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The latest in the burgeoning genre of book review-cum-anti-Oprah- screed, to which I made a humble contribution some weeks ago here, came courtesy of Peter Birkenhead writing for Salon.com. His excellent piece was featured on Monday, and has thus far garnered upwards of 300 reader responses, by far the most feedback I have seen to […]

March 6, 2007

Canada Reads and Rocks and Rolls 1

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Canada’s national airwaves took on a decidedly literary tone last week with the latest installment of Canada Reads. This annual, week-long competition began in 2002 when five celebrity readers went to bat for the Canadian book of their choice. The panel would convince and cajole each other and at the end of each day, they […]

March 5, 2007

Let Me Be Your Bracketologist 4

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You recall a couple of weeks ago when I previewed The Morning News 2007 Tournament of Books. As it turns out, they’ve incorporated a contest for readers – an office pool – into this year’s Tournament and I’m involved. How to play along: Here’s how the contest works. In addition to this year’s brackets, below […]

March 5, 2007

Two More New Books: Junot Diaz and Paul Torday 1

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Josh Ferris, who continues to do an admirable job filling in at TEV, noted today that Junot Diaz’s long-awaited novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao finally has a street date. The reason I’m so excited about this is that Diaz’s story by the same title in the New Yorker’s 2000 end-of-year fiction issue […]

March 5, 2007

Booklist: Lionel Shriver 0

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One of my favorite magazines, which I now finally subscribe to thanks to a surplus of frequent flier miles, is The Week. It’s done in the “digest” format, taking the week’s news, events, and cultural goings on from hundreds of sources – newspapers, magazines, etc. – and distilling it down to about 45 pages. It’s […]

March 5, 2007

Monday Links 0

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A new issue of The Quarterly Conversation has arrived, featuring an essay on Wizard of the Crow by QC creator Scott and a review of William T. Vollmann’s Poor People from Dave Munger. Lots of other good reviews in there too. Also via Scott, Political Theory Daily Review, a dense and daily collection of links […]

March 3, 2007

On Pym and Poe 1

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When I was in high school, I was quite enthralled by Edgar Allan Poe. I’d been familiar with his most famous stories from a young age (I remember being particularly haunted by “The Cask of Amontillado”), but in high school I had the opportunity, poked and prodded by teachers, to delve deeper into some of […]