An essay is an act of imagination — it still takes quite as much art as fiction: Suffering from "novel nausea", Zadie Smith wonders if the essay lives up to its promise. From The American Scholar, Bob Thompson on covering the "book beat" and how to write about writers. From The Morning News, for a generation of young writers, Joan Didion is more than an icon — she tells them how the world was when their parents were young; and writer seeks pen name — something simple, nothing dippy, and preferably one that avoids implying a lawyer who savors puns. Dances with Werewolves: Kelley Armstrong celebrates the animal within. Evicted from his own head: A review of Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Censored gay sex scenes in From Here to Eternity revealed: Daughter of author James Jones discloses details of cuts insisted upon by the novel's original publisher. The kindness of witches: Stieg Larsson’s fiction replaces Sweden’s socialist dream with an individualist nightmare — is this what has made him the country’s biggest literary phenomenon? A look at why Martin Amis won't shut up about feminism. The problem with Nabokov: Martin Amis confronts the tortuous questions posed by a genius in decline. Controversy surrounds the publication of Nabokov's last, unfinished work: John Banville reviews The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). An interview with Maya Angelou: "I'm fine as wine in the summertime".

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