Recent Articles

October 21, 2007

The Worst Case Scenario: Pastoralia by George Saunders 2

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To read one of George Saunders’ stories is to gain a glimpse into an antic, often frightening, just-slightly-shifted alternative world. To read a George Saunders collection is to discover the human sorrow his stories plumb. Reading Pastoralia was something of a revelation for me because, though I’ve read many of Saunders’ stories before, I had […]

October 20, 2007

Dumbledore is Gay, Harry has Webbed Toes 6

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The boy wizard isn’t gay, but apparently his beloved professor is. J.K. Rowling “outed” Dumbledore at a Carnegie Hall reading, inspiring “gasps and applause” as well as wire stories. Over the years, Rowling hasn’t been particularly aggressive about being a self-promoter; she hasn’t had to as the Harry Potter books have made her rich and […]

October 18, 2007

Unfurling The Publishing Umbrella: Dispatch From Frankfurt 0

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This guest contribution comes from Buzz Poole, the managing editor of Mark Batty Publisher. He has written for the likes of The Believer, Village Voice and San Francisco Chronicle, and is the author of Madonna of the Toast, a look at the cultural ramifications of unexpected religious and secular icons. Keep up with his adventures […]

October 18, 2007

A Bit of Fiction in the Mail 1

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Subscribers to the literary magazine One Story receive, you guessed it, one story in the mail about every three weeks. The magazine isn’t as chic as it could be (the choice of title font, for instance, sometimes makes me cringe), but the issues are lightweight and easy to stuff in your purse or back pocket. […]

October 17, 2007

Wednesday Links 0

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As has been much noted elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal landed reclusive Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson to review a recent bio of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. New York explains how the review was arranged. Meanwhile, the New Yorker has John Updike reviewing the book. BLDGBLOG articulates why I love LA so much (and […]

October 16, 2007

Underdog Enright Lands the 2007 Booker 0

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From across the pond comes word that Anne Enright has won the 2007 Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, beating out bookies’ favorite Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones and On Chesil Beach by household name Ian McEwan. The Independent’s review of The Gathering sets the scene: brings together fragments of the past, real and […]

October 16, 2007

Truth in Advertising 1

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Though we try to pass over blog-bait, we can’t resist directing your attention to the print ad campaign for the paperback version of Jonathan Franzen’s The Discomfort Zone. “From the acclaimed memoir by the author of The Corrections” runs the copy, above several blurbs: “Funny, masterfully composed” – Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly “[A] total lack […]

October 15, 2007

Message from a Dead Man: A Review of Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke 2

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The intrusion of the university into the life of the writer “is unquestionably the chief sociological fact of modern American literature,” Keith Gessen wrote in last year’s N+1 symposium on American literature. Though Gessen’s rhetoric may have been strategically hyperbolic, the facts bore him out. For better or for worse, the M.F.A. workshop has changed […]

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.