paper trail

The Goldsmiths prize; a "Moby-Dick" marathon

Joyce Carol Oates

The Goldsmiths prize for innovative fiction was awarded to Kevin Barry for Beatlebone, a novel in which John Lennon goes to Ireland for a course of primal scream therapy.

“Like the hub at the center of a wheel”: Molly McArdle profiles Rachel Fershleiser, Tumblr’s director of literary outreach. “I want to be a rich crazy lady who patronizes writers,” Fershleiser says. “I can’t actually be that, so I try to do it in baby steps.”

The best thing about The Atlantic’s piece on why writers often love running is the suggestion that Joyce Carol Oates (author of scores of books under her own name and others) may experience “writing blocks.”

It’s good to know we’re not the only ones still recovering from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s review of Michel Houellebecq.

Likewise, still musing on Harriet Walter’s thoughts about Shakespeare and “write what you know,” as expressed in an interview about the all-female production of Henry IV she’s starring in this month (set in a women’s prison). “In one way, he’s very honest,” she said of how few parts the bard wrote that she could usually play, “he didn’t know much about women at that age. But he didn’t know much about so many things, and he could get into the Moor of Venice, so why couldn’t he understand an older woman?”

Tomorrow night at 7 at the the Village Community School on West 10th Street in NYC, you can celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Pushcart Prize with Zadie Smith, Colum McCann, Ben Marcus, Sharon Olds, and Mary Karr.

On the other hand, you might not want to miss a crucial chapter of Melville’s Moby-Dick—to coincide with its Frank Stella retrospective, which includes work from his “Moby Dick” series, the Whitney will host a marathon reading of the novel by writers and artists, beginning Friday morning.