Recent Articles

October 21, 2007

Now You Know: The Mysteries of NYT’s Best-Seller List (or Not) 1

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It is a ubiquitous feature in bookstores – especially at airports: The New York Times Best Seller List. The words “From The New York Times Best-Selling Author” flash at a reader from the top of a book cover, capturing interst and, well, dollars. The Times’ Public Editor Clark Hoyt explains the selection process, why the […]

October 21, 2007

Sharing a Name 3

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In the world of Google, we are all aware of our doppelgangers. These people share our names, but we never meet them except to rub elbows in search engine results. In pre-Internet days, however, fewer of us felt the odd sensation of sharing your identity with another person. In order for this to happen, you […]

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 […]