Recent Articles

August 12, 2007

The Ever Quotable Norman Mailer 0

by

Norman Mailer made an unorthodox appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, beamed in via video link from his home in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He’s apparently not big on technology, however, calling the video-interview system more suited to a “young chimpanzee.” The Herald’s story on the event includes a number of other classic Mailer quips, including […]

August 10, 2007

A Booker’s Dozen: The Longlist is Here 0

by

Perhaps the world’s most jawed about literary prize has released its 2007 longlist. It features one legitimate heavyweight (who is currently the favorite in the betting parlors) and a few other familiar names. All the Booker Prize longlisters are below (with excerpts where available): Darkmans by Nicola Barker Self Help by Edward Docx (excerpt) The […]

August 8, 2007

Lethem the Lyrical: You Don’t Love Me Yet 4

by

The salient aspect of Jonathan Lethem’s latest novel, You Don’t Love Me Yet, is that by the end each character has found his and her level. It’s quite something: of the seven or so characters there are no winners and no losers. The author’s conscientious diplomacy imbues a basically playful book with a certain airy […]

August 7, 2007

Amour Fou: On Leonard Michaels’ Sylvia 2

by

I.What is style… and how does one achieve it? Our English teachers admonish us to enliven our verb choices, to reach for colorful synonyms… and we imbibe the idea that style means not sounding like anyone else, that styles are as distinctive as handwriting. As, indeed, some are. When we encounter “aurochs and angels and […]

August 7, 2007

The Blow-Up 1

by

Following the lead of powerhouses Bookforum and The New York Review, the interdisciplinary magazine BOMB appears to be in the middle of a major project to make a lot of its content available free, online. This should be a boon to highbrow bibliophiles. For years, BOMB‘s author interviews have offered deep perspective on the state […]

August 5, 2007

Students Pay to Do Publishing Industry Grunt Work 6

by

Recently perusing the course offerings for Temple University’s continuing education program here in Philadelphia, Season Evans uncovered what has to be one of the more unsavory market research strategies ever employed by the publishing companies. A course titled (and misspelled) “A Sneak Peak at Next Year’s Bestsellers,” is described as follows: Every fall publishers introduce […]

August 1, 2007

Back on Track 1

by

Following up on Monday’s post, as it turns out, that missing issue of the New Yorker turned up (bearing a paper jacket reminding me to renew and sporting a torn cover) a day after this week’s issue landed in the mailbox. So it appears as though I won’t be skipping an issue after all. Luckily […]

July 30, 2007

Missing the New Yorker 6

by

Last week, my New Yorker didn’t show up. This has happened a handful of times in the close to ten years I’ve been reading the magazine. Typically, wherever I’ve lived, my issue has landed in my mailbox between Tuesday and Thursday. If I haven’t gotten my issue by Thursday, I tense up a bit and […]

July 29, 2007

The Millions Hits Facebook 1

by

I’ve never been big on social networking sites. In fact, until Friday I’d never joined one at all, but the rising clamor of millions of Facebook fans convinced me to finally check it out. After a couple of days I can see the appeal. The site can offer hours of mindless entertainment, checking on updates […]

July 29, 2007

A Potter Post Mortem 2

by

What to say about Harry Potter that hasn’t been said? One approach, I suppose, taking a page from the New York Times, would be to cover the coverage. I, for example, was delighted by the Times’ hypocrisy in covering as news the New York Post’s and New York Daily News’ early publication of movie reviews […]