International and American authors, books, and culture

From TNR, a review of The Savage Detectives and Amulet by Roberto Bolaño, and a guide to the best foreign novelists you've never heard of. Independent Africa's hopeful infancy: A review of You Must Set Forth at Dawn by Wole Soyinka.

From n+1, a memoir of childhood under Czech communism. A review of Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk. From Sign and Sight, Steppenwolf's archivist Roman Bucheli visits Volker Michels at his Hermann Hesse archive, the "most functional" documentation centre on one of Germany's best selling authors. George Szirtes welcomes a new collection of Primo Levi's mischievous and bitter short stories, A Tranquil Star.

From Salon, an interview with Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemen's Union, on Jewish identity, Chassids as hobbits, his love of Barack Obama and the joys of writing a Yiddish-Alaskan detective novel. From The Village Voice, the Upper West Side goes to the dogs in Cathleen Shine's The New Yorkers. Richard Flanagan’s stunning new novel The Unknown Terrorist gives us a world headed toward irredeemable disaster. A review of The Pest House: An unlikely Adam and Eve set out in a ravaged America (and more and more and more). Victim returns to crime scene 30 years later, as an author: An interview with Terri Jentz, author of Strange Piece of Paradise.

Poetic science on the passage of time: A review of The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble. A review of Best New Paranormal Romance. The publisher of Little Pink Slips is marketing the novel as a roman à clef — a kind of Devil Wears Prada for pink-slipped editors. Young Adult Fantasy with a Twist: A review of Un Lun Dun by China Mieville.

Book not ready for print? You can whip up an audiobook for a podcast for now. Book Tourist: Adventures in the magic terrain where readers and writers commingle. The prize bigger even than the Booker: Most literary endeavour ends not in failure. The birth of Cubism may not seem like standard fodder for a graphic novel. But the painting breakthrough is at the heart of The Salon, by Nick Bertozzi.

The taxonomy of stray shopping carts: In developing a book-length classification system for runaway retail buggies, a Buffalo artist strives to illuminate the mundane. And, no, he's not kidding. When the chips are down: A review of Bigger Deal: a Year on the New Poker Circuit by Anthony Holden (and more and more). The Main Squeeze: Though the accordion has been spiraling out of favor for decades, at least one man refuses to turn in the keys.

Banksy Was Here: Lauren Collins on the invisible man of graffiti art. Corporations have been usurping and reshaping Black mass culture for decades — hip hop is just the latest product line. A look at why war has broken out between jazz and hip hop. A review of Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting. Cover stories of Rolling Stone: How the iconic rock magazine's covers evolved over 40 years. And here are the 15 best songs that are totally about masturbation