paper trail

Mar 10, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

Whip Smart author Melissa Febos

Tonight at the New School, the finalists for this year's National Book Critics Circle award, which will be announced tomorrow night, will read their work. It's the book world's answer to the Academy Awards' red-carpet ceremony. Well, kind of. Unlike the Oscars, the NBCC event is free and open to the public.

Want middlebrow? There will be an app for that.

Proving that there is nothing in the world that can't be bought and shipped to Texas, David Foster Wallace's papers have landed in Austin. The Harry Ransom Center, with its Lone Star State-sized acquisitions budget, has scored many of literature's most-coveted treasures. Browse their holdings, plan your research, and we'll meet you in the reading room.

S&M & MFA: A conversation with Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart, a memoir about being a dominatrix in mid-town Manhattan while whipping her writing into shape. Alas, Terry Gross never asks the most pressing question: "Which was more harrowing, the dungeon or the seminar room?"

We can't move without stubbing our toe on David Shields (to paraphrase Wodehouse). The Rumpus has an essay on Reality Hunger that has elicited a surprisingly civil, intelligent discussion in the comments section.

Must read of the week: Sunday's Times Book Review profile of nearly forgotten New Yorker editor and writer St. Clair McKelway. McKelway had bipolar disorder, like George W.S. Trow, another obscure New Yorker staffer (who once quipped that he was "bipolar light.") What is it about that place?

From Galleycat, the best book editors on Twitter.