Recent Articles

November 24, 2008

On Ambition, Cocktail Party Invitations, and the “Bizarre Compulsion” to Write 1

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Recently there’s been a ruckus regarding the blatant pursuit of literary fame, especially where the n+1 editors are concerned. In the current issue of Poetry, Adam Kirsch plumbs the depths of literary ambition and the desire for personal recognition, and classifies Keith Gessen’s All The Sad Young Literary Men as “a chemically pure example of […]

November 23, 2008

Quarterly Report: Holidays and Silver Linings 1

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As we have every quarter for the last several, we’re looking at Barnes & Noble’s recent quarterly report to gauge the trends that are impacting the book industry – which books were big over the last few months and what’s expected for the months ahead. To a large extent, things have gone from bad to […]

November 23, 2008

Curiosities 0

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Esquire offers up a terrific time sink, “The 7 Greatest Stories in the History of Esquire Magazine.” Included among these gems of long-form journalism, which are all reprinted in full, is Richard Ben Cramer’s “What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?” which appeared on the list of best sports journalism we ran last month. […]

November 21, 2008

Zadie Smith Looks at the Avant-Garde Novel 1

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In the current New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith dives deep into the philosophical frame of avant-garde novels in a review of Tom McCarthy’s Remainder. The article is, generally speaking, written more for an academic audience than a casual reader (if you don’t have a precise working definition of “lyrical realism” it can be […]

November 20, 2008

Turnips, Quarterbacks, and Strawberry Pickers: Credit Default Swaps Made Simple 0

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Last week, Max directed our attention to a major new piece of reporting on the financial crisis: a Portfolio article by Millions favorite Michael Lewis. The author of Liar’s Poker, among other books, Lewis is a gifted explainer of an industry badly in need of explanations. In the Portfolio piece, for example, he immerses us […]

November 20, 2008

Matthiessen, Gordon-Reed Win National Book Awards 1

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81-year-old Peter Matthiessen has taken home the National Book Award for fiction in something of an upset. His book, Shadow Country (excerpt), as the Bloomberg notes, came about after he “rewrote and compressed portions of his novels about the murderous Florida sugar-cane farmer Edgar J. Watson — Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man’s River and Bone […]

November 19, 2008

Pocket Paperbacks and Digital Editions 13

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What better time than now to bring back the pocket paperback? People have no money to spend on hardcovers, and even the full-sized trade paperbacks are a pricey, given the economic times. There are also strong trends in our society that encourage less waste and the downsizing of our myriad possessions. A return of those […]

November 18, 2008

Gossip Girl and The New Yorker 3

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For some weeks now, in a pretense to professorial hipness, I’ve been using the TV show Gossip Girl as a sort of all-purpose pop-cultural referent with my students. Whenever I’m at a loss to explain a concept, I say something like, “This would be like on Gossip Girl, if Blair Waldorf told Serena van der […]

November 16, 2008

Curiosities 0

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A “blogbook” on the financial crisis. The table of contents. Essential Bolaño: The Five Most Unskippable Passages in 2666 50 years worth of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” is now online for free all the way back to that very first strip. (via)

November 14, 2008

Appearing Elsewhere: The 2666 Review 2

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We at The Millions have been anticipating Roberto Bolaño’s magnum opus, 2666, for months now. While I’m not convinced that a book review is capable of capturing the beauty and profound oddity of this novel, my best effort is currently featured at More Intelligent Life. Bonus link (from the archives): “Why Bolaño Matters“