Recent Articles

June 25, 2007

Quality Issue: Last Week’s New Yorker 2

by

This week’s New Yorker is already on newsstands, but before last week’s issue is a distant memory, I wanted to praise it for being one of the best issues I’ve read in a while. Calvin Trillin’s piece on an episode of vigilante justice in Canada was engaging and well reported and David Owen’s profile of […]

June 21, 2007

Ask a Book Question: The 56th in a Series (A Remainder Reminder) 1

by

Neil writes in with this question: I’m trying to remember the name of a new book I’ve recently read about and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think the general concept was that it was about a guy who was in an accident and when he wakes up, he has no memory […]

June 21, 2007

Cold and Ruminating: A Review of In the Wake by Per Petterson 0

by

Scott of Conversational Reading invited me to participate in his “Reading the World” series this month. My contribution was reading and posting about Per Petterson’s In the Wake. I don’t read enough fiction in translation, maybe a couple of books per year. When I do the experience elicits one of two reactions. Either the book […]

June 20, 2007

Reading in Translation 1

by

Tomorrow, as part of Scott’s month-long Reading the World series, I’ll have a review of Per Petterson’s In the Wake up at Conversational Reading. Reading the World is focused on “bringing international voices to the attention of readers,” and reading In the Wake and considering it as a “work in translation” rather than simply a […]

June 19, 2007

Learning Curve: A Review of Nell Freudenberger’s The Dissident 1

by

Nell Freudenberger is unquestionably a gifted writer and will, if we’re fortunate, become a major one. Her story collection Lucky Girls, published when she was 28, earned ink from Vogue and Elle and hardware from PEN, and if Marisha Pessl has since eclipsed her as lit-fic’s “It Girl,” well… so much the better. Slipping out […]

June 17, 2007

Literary Archives From the Dusty Stacks to the Digital Future 1

by

I read with interest D.T. Max’s article in the recent Summer Fiction Issue of the New Yorker covering the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which is, by the sound of it, one of the world’s most important literary archives. The piece mostly covered the library’s director Thomas Staley, […]

June 15, 2007

Inter Alia #1: Notes Toward a Sporadic Column 5

by

I’m still working out my relationship with the blog as a critical organ… I guess, in a way, we all are. My thoughts, as visitors to this site may have noticed, tend equally toward the associative and the forensic. And yet, as a gift to you, the reader, I’d like to carve out a space […]

June 13, 2007

WTF: Classx 2 Yr Phone 1

by

A few weeks back, Reuters reported on a new website called Daily Lit, which blasts short clips of classic literature to subscribers’ email addresses every day. Readers can take in Anna Karenina via Blackberry, in five-minute chunks disbursed over fourteen months. “Our audience includes people like us, who spend hours each day on e-mail but […]

June 13, 2007

Ride the Shuffle: The Institute for the Future of the Book 2

by

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 […]

June 12, 2007

Jeff Hobbs in His Own Words 0

by

The Tourists, the debut offering from young novelist Jeff Hobbs, is a book about four college friends at Yale who, seven or so years removed from New Haven, find themselves reconnected in New York City. The tie that binds them is lust and longing, and also a certain “how did I get here?” melancholy. The […]