Recent Articles

April 5, 2011

The Price of the Dream: David Bezmozgis’s The Free World 0

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Emigration is not unlike love: its true course never did run smooth. You envision the free world filled with beauty and wonder, and then you see it, the West, and it is lovely, yes, tantalizing, but also cruel, withholding, a stern, ingrate mistress, possessed of a stony heart, an unyielding temperament.

April 5, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Hallberg, Goldman, Wolitzer, Packer, Butler, Connors, Fey and More 0

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The gorgeous paperback edition of our own Garth Risk Hallberg’s A Field Guide to the North American Family is now out. Also new and noteworthy are Francisco Goldman’s New Yorker excerpted story of the death of his young wife Say Her Name, Meg Wolitzer’s The Uncoupling, Ann Packer’s Swim Back to Me, Blake Butler’s There […]

April 5, 2011

Paint It Back: The History of American Graffiti 3

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Exactly who was the first kid to spread a name or moniker across a cityscape is up for debate, but this book is as close as one will ever get to a definitive answer.

April 4, 2011

Fact-checking Steinbeck 0

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As John Steinbeck’s classic Travels With Charley nears the half-century mark, a writer has retraced the author’s cross-country journey and come to the conclusion that the resulting book was full of inaccuracies and outright fabrications. The journalist Bill Steigerwald, whose article appears in the current issue of the libertarian quarterly Reason, says he didn’t set out to trash the Nobel laureate. […]

April 4, 2011

The Tournament of Books Declares a Winner! 0

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The Tournament of Books declares a winner! It was down to two in the last round: Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (called “big, messy, flawed, enraging, and engrossing” by C. Max Magee, one of the final round judges) and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad (which “ached with feeling and tension…”) Find out who won […]

April 4, 2011

Double Fold, Double Jeopardy 20

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A decade after Nicholson Baker’s provocative book, are American libraries still trashing perfectly collectible books?

April 2, 2011

…And If You Still Want More on The Pale King 2

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I can’t recommend John Jeremiah Sullivan‘s 7,000-word article on The Pale King highly enough – not because he gets everything right, but because it’s what long-form writing about books should look like: passionate, lucid, wide-ranging, and awfully fun to read. I salute GQ for running it, and hope to see more literary coverage there in […]

April 2, 2011

Billy Joel Gets Cold Feet 1

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Could this be the start of a trend? HarperCollins paid the singer Billy Joel $3 million for a memoir back in 2008. Joel wrote The Book of Joel, the publisher edited it, and a June publication date was set. Last week, however, Joel abruptly backed out of the deal and apparently will return the portion […]

April 1, 2011

Sonya Chung Reading at Long Island University 0

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I’ll be reading at Long Island University in Brooklyn on Monday, April 4th at 12 noon, with Gary Shteyngart.  I have no idea what I’ll be reading – possibly something new, or something very old.

April 1, 2011

Appearing Elsewhere: The Pale King and the DFW Legacy 3

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You can read my take on The Pale King – and what it says about Wallace’s legacy – at New York Magazine.