paper trail

Mar 12, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

Cheever: A Life author Blake Bailey

The National Book Critics Circle awards have been announced. Three of the winners were all too predictable: Hillary Mantel won in fiction for Wolf Hall, Richard Holmes scored the non-fiction prize with The Age of Wonder, and Blake Bailey took home the biography prize for Cheever: A Life. But if there are people who bet on the NBCC Awards (and we hope there are), the big winnings went to those who put their money on Eula Biss, whose hard-to-categorize Notes from No Man's Land came out of nowhere to take the prize for criticism.

Novelist Sam Lipsyte and Giancarlo Ditrapano talk vices over at Vice: "What if I just said the word DRUGS. What would you say?" Their conversation ranges over Lorin Stein's pre-Paris Review editing style ("He didn’t come at me with an ax. . . .It was more like a textbook prison shanking"), Salinger ("We mostly talked sports"), and the Lish/Carver controversy ("Lish’s edits made those Carver stories. Only a moron or somebody with a financial interest wouldn’t agree to that"). It makes other Lipsyte interviews look tame.

David Foster Wallace scrawled "Rabbit Mourns Himself," inside his copy of Rabbit, Run. In his trusty dictionary, he circled words like abulia, jacal, and uxorious. But the most interesting bit of his archives released so far—aside from his childhood Viking poem—is his battered copy of The Cinema Book by Pete Smith, surely an inspiration for Infinite Jest.

There's a "spoofs & satire" piece over at The Morning News, in which Tyler Stoddard Smith churns out some fake quotes by escorts supposedly employed by onetime brothel dweller Gabriel Garcia Marquez. What's next, a humor piece about courting his wife Mercedes when she was only nine years old?

Gary Indiana's new book, Andy Warhol and the Can that Sold America, is in bookstores now. We'd advise you to run out and buy it, but the author himself doesn't recommend it: "anybody who knows anything about the subject will dismiss it as boilerplate tripe about Warhol, stuff you've heard and read a million times—that's what it was turned into."