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December 4, 2008

A Year in Reading: Elizabeth McCracken 2

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Elizabeth McCracken is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study. Her most recent book is An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. I read plenty of terrific books this year, but two stick out in my head: For some reason it took me 100 approaches to The Maytrees before I […]

December 4, 2008

A Year in Reading: Rex Sorgatz 1

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Rex Sorgatz is a writer, designer, producer, and entrepreneur based in New York City. He currently works for Saturday Night Live and is a contributor at Wired magazine. His writing has appeared in New York, Gawker, Radar, and Spin. Former careers include being Executive Producer of msnbc.com and butchering fish in Alaska. He blogs the […]

December 4, 2008

A Year in Reading: Joseph O’Neill 3

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Joseph O’Neill’s third novel, Netherland, was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2008. O’Neill’s previous books are The Breezes, This Is the Life, and the family history, Blood-Dark Track, which was a book of the year for The Economist and The Irish Times. Prompted by a writing assignment, I’ve been re-reading the novels […]

December 3, 2008

A Year in Reading: Amanda Petrusich 0

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Amanda Petrusich is the author of It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music. She writes about pop music for Spin, the New York Times, Paste, Pitchfork, the Onion, and elsewhere. I’ve always found it remarkably difficult to read or write about a place without also reading or […]

December 3, 2008

A Year in Reading: Dan Kois 0

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Dan Kois was a founding editor of Vulture, New York magazine’s culture and entertainment blog, and is now a contributing writer to Vulture and to New York. He’s also writing a 33 1/3 book, which will not be as good as Carl Wilson’s. In a year during which I was, at least theoretically, writing my […]

December 3, 2008

A Year in Reading: Mark Binelli 0

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Mark Binelli is the author of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. He lives in New York and is currently working on a second novel. I didn’t read so many new books this year, but three I loved were Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness (probably my favorite final sentence of […]

December 3, 2008

Making a Novel 5

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In the novel writing workshop I taught this fall, I asked my students to write down as many novel devices they could think of, starting with the basics (plot, character, and so on), and continuing into more shadowy, magical territories. I participated as well, and after a few minutes I found myself writing down some […]

December 2, 2008

A Year in Reading: Hamilton Leithauser 2

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Hamilton Leithauser is the lead singer for the rock band The Walkmen. They released their fourth record You & Me this fall. He lives in Manhattan. A few books that I really enjoyed this year were: Roger’s Version by John Updike. The novel follows a weathered, sour divinity professor (Roger) who surprises even himself with […]

December 2, 2008

A Year in Reading: Rosecrans Baldwin 1

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Rosecrans Baldwin’s first novel, You Lost Me There is coming out soon with Riverhead Books. He’s a founding editor of The Morning News. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy was one of my favorite books this year. I was living in Paris and it told stories that resembled way too closely my friends’ mishaps, and […]

December 2, 2008

A Year in Reading: Benjamin Kunkel 3

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Benjamin Kunkel is a founding editor of N+1 and the author of the novel Indecision. His wriiting has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Nation, and The Believer. There’s a Donald Barthelme story that begins (roughly), “I thought I had understood capitalism. But I had only adopted an attitude – melancholy sadness […]