paper trail

Jul 28, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Andrea Levy

Novelist and critic Tom LeClair has some advice for contemporary writers: Treat your interviewers well. They read your books, and they may have the final word.

“To Jeff Bezos and everyone else who brings books to the world I say: thank you,” concludes Ruth Franklin, writing "In Defense of Amazon" at the New Republic, a response to Colin Robinson’s recent article in The Nation, "The Trouble With Amazon." 

The 2010 Man Booker Prize for fiction's longlist has been announced, and apparently, the Booker judges are feeling wistful for the past. There's a distinct batch of historical fiction in the mix, including some books that must be considered favorites to win: Peter Carey's novel Parrot and Olivier in America, a revisiting of Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous trip to America (Carey has already won the prize twice); David Mitchell's 19th century fiction The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Tom McCarthy's early-twentieth century novel C; Helen Dunmore's World War II book The Betrayal; and Andrea Levy's The Long Song, a novel depicting Jamaica's 1832 slave rebellion (among other books set in the more recent past). We'll have to wait until September 7th for the shortlist, and the winner will be announced on October 12th.

In 1987, David Foster Wallace, then an assistant professor of English at Amherst College, wrote this thoughtful student evaluation, posted at Htmlgiant, reminding us that he was a careful reader of not just literature and tennis, but of the young authors he taught as well.