Recent Articles

January 26, 2009

Appearing Elsewhere 0

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To celebrate the release of Issue 5 of the Los Angeles Review, published by Red Hen Press, I will be reading tomorrow (Tuesday) night at Skylight Books, along with fellow contributors Eloise Klein Healy, Stephanie Eve Halpern, Jamey Hecht, and Timothy Green. If you’re in the L.A. area, come on by!

January 26, 2009

Free Music from Amazon 3

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Stumbling through Amazon’s MP3 store today (I’ve recently become an iPod owner), I was surprised to find that they have quite a bit of music available for free download. In fact, they’ve collected it all in one place, so you can click through and grab what you want. Some of the goodies on offer include […]

January 26, 2009

Willa Cather, the Greatest American Novelist? 6

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I’ve sampled Willa Cather recently after a knowledgeable friend suggested she might be a sleeper candidate for the greatest American novelist. Well, after reading My Antonia and The Professor’s House I have to say, I don’t see it. There are particular things about both books that did not grab me, but to sum up my […]

January 25, 2009

2008 National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced 0

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The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) are worth paying attention to both because they are not limited to American (or British) writers like some of the other awards and because they sometimes include single out less well-known books for praise. Looking at the fiction finalists this year, both of those elements are certainly in play. […]

January 25, 2009

Curiosities: Cartoon Batting Averages 1

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Colson Whitehead says “Wow, Fiction Works!“ The LA Times has a clip from the movie version of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, directed by The Office star John Krasinski. (via) Carolyn writes about the real-life connection between Walker Percy and Bruce Springsteen. The Village Voice shows off the final results of its […]

January 22, 2009

Culture and Vigilance: Look for the Whimper, Not the Bang 3

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As media business models falter, from The New York Times to the big book publishers, the calamity that seems to have overtaken the public imagination is one of sudden extinction. In Michael Hirschorn’s “what if” piece in the Atlantic Monthly, he asks, But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a […]

January 21, 2009

Appearing Elsewhere 2

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I have a short story in the latest issue of Avery, a young literary magazine I’ve written about before. Avery 4 also includes fiction by Hannah Tinti, Kevin Canty, Rumaan Alam, Samar Fitzgerald, Sophie Rosenblum, Scott Garson, Callie Collins, James Iredell, Jessica Breheny, Sean Walsh, Anna Villegas, and Michael Bourdaghs. It’s wonderful to have found […]

January 20, 2009

Après Moi, Le Deluge: A Review of Barton Gellman’s Angler and Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side 1

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For civil libertarians, the inauguration of President Barack Obama augurs not only a brighter future, but a chance to shed light on the recent past. It goes almost without saying that the Bush Administration has, with its declaration of permanent war and attendant claims of executive privilege, sought to move the balance of power in […]

January 20, 2009

Old Media is Dead, Long Live Old Media! 0

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NPR’s On the Media ran a feature recently on entrepreneur Joshua Karp’s new startup the Printed Blog (TPB), a web aggregator that takes the best online content and… puts it on paper. Karp plans to print TPB twice a day and hand it out for free in major urban outlets. Content and advertising will be […]

January 19, 2009

Who’s Afraid of a Big, Bad Screen? 1

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Lately, critics have been swift to announce the death of print culture, and thus pronounce the end of literacy. Even two technology critics whose opinions usually reside on opposite ends of the spectrum – Kevin Kelly of Wired and Christine Rosen of The New Atlantis – agree that culturally, we are now “people of the […]