Recent Articles

January 20, 2011

The Amazon Alphabet: From Audio Books to Zane 6

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The ABCs of Amazon: a peek into the reading habits of America and, like it or not, a primer for what’s popular in the world of books.

January 20, 2011

Darts and Philosophy, Bowling and Metaphysics: A Primer on the Novels of Jean-Philippe Toussaint 3

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Toussaint deals with both the little irritations and the Big Questions, usually in as close a proximity as possible, and he respects no boundary between fiction and nonfiction.

January 19, 2011

Edgar Award Nominations 0

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The Mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees for the 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Awards [pdf]. Nominees include Tana French for Faithful Place and Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon for Zora and Me (featuring Zora Neale Hurston, girl detective).

January 19, 2011

The Great American Novel 0

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How it all got started: in 1868, The Nation published an article by John William De Forest titled “The Great American Novel.” (via American Literary blog).

January 19, 2011

The Long and the Short of It: Linked Story Collections Bridging the Divide 14

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To me, the short story is this miraculously compressed form, elegant and complex, small in shape but large and deep in meaning; it has the capacity for perfection in a way that the novel does not.

January 19, 2011

The Great Late Henry James 9

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If there was ever a rule that an American writer should do his boldest, most experimental work first and then retreat to safe ground, no one ever bothered to tell Henry James.

January 18, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Fallon, Brown, Sriracha 0

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New this week is a debut collection of loosely linked stories that’s been getting some attention. Military families are the common theme in Siobhan Fallon’s You Know When the Men Are Gone. Another newly released debut is Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters about a Shakespeare scholar’s three daughters, all named after characters from the Bard’s […]

January 18, 2011

Cursing at Poets 0

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At The Collagist, Kyle Beachy imagines the emperor Augustus saying to the poet Horace, “You and your kind are fucked!” “The Extent of Our Decline” is one of number of essays appearing in the collection I co-edited, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, coming in March from Soft Skull.

January 18, 2011

The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia’s Novel Crisis 78

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The rhythm of school is conducive to the writing of small things, not big things, and we don’t try hard enough to think beyond that rhythm because, for many of us, it’s the only rhythm we know.

January 14, 2011

Cut and Dry: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes 5

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The first thing you have to do with Tree of Codes is figure out how to read it.