• Frank Rich
    March 02, 2011

    Mar 2, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    The new issue of The Believer includes the 2010 editors' shortlist for their annual Book Award (GalleyCat has assembled a collection of links to the finalists), as well as a new Poetry Award.

    In Tunisia and Egypt, books banned by the recently ousted regimes are back on the shelves.

    New York magazine’s Adam Moss has lured New York Times stalwart Frank Rich away from the paper after a long career. Rich says of the appointment by his old buddy Moss: “The role Adam has created for me at his revitalized New York Magazine will allow me to write with more reflection, variety, and space than is

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  • Steve Erickson
    March 01, 2011

    Mar 1, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Here’s a cheerful thought by Rudolph Delson, from the forthcoming anthology The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books (edited by the folks at The Millions and including an all-star lineup of contributors): “Most of the best books will be written only after you and I are both dead.”

    Via the Paris Review, an intriguing exchange between PR poetry editor Robyn Creswell and a blogger known only as the “Angry Arab,” about Egyptian literature.

    Last week, Elif Batuman gave a lecture at the British Museaum about literature and accounting, as the Granta blog explains: “She set up writing

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  • Lorin Stein, photo by Deidre Schoo for The New York Times
    February 28, 2011

    Feb 28, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Famed blogger Andrew Sullivan is leaving The Atlantic to move to the Daily Beast/Newsweek.

    Paris Review editor Lorin Stein gets the luxe treatment in the Times weekend Fashion and Style page, which lovingly details the retro Rolodex and “neat bowel of paper clips” on his desk, follows Stein through a busy night of socializing, and deems him “an unlikely sex symbol” (helpfully noting that “among New York’s literary crowd, being pale, thin and occasionally bespectacled doesn’t count against you”). Style points aside, the Review has never been better: The spring issue is arriving on newsstands

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  • Letter from an Unknown Woman
    February 25, 2011

    Feb 25, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    “Poverty is poverty and it sucks and it sucks so much more when you have a child. There is no romance in getting up at 5 am to write your poems and coming home at night when the young boys are just going out to their bars.” Sandra Simmons writes about the challenges of being a “poor poetry mother.”

    In April, Sarabande Books plans to publish a new chapbook by Lydia Davis titled The Cows, which reprints a story that first appeared in the journal Electric Literature. This news reminded us of Donna K’s excellent, strange video, which riffs on a single Lydia Davis sentence: “Does she prefer the

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  • Christian Hawkey
    February 24, 2011

    Feb 24, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Robert Silvers of The New York Review of Books, David Remnick of The New Yorker, and other editors respond to the recent discussions about the “dearth of female bylines.”

    Apple is planning to unveil the iPad 2 on March 2, leaving less than a week for breathless speculation about what the new features will be. We’re pretty sure that whatever they come up with will be dubbed “revolutionary.”

    In anticipation of David Foster Wallace’s forthcoming The Pale King, you can listen to the BBC’s recent radio doc about the novelist (via Flavorwire), which feature interviews with Don DeLillo, Rick Moody,

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  • Kenneth Slawenski
    February 23, 2011

    Feb 23, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Kenneth Slawenski, the author of an acclaimed new J. D. Salinger biography (and the great website Dead Caulfields), is a bit like his hero: There’s no author photo on the book, a minimal “about the author” note, and he’s granted only a few interviews. But Salinger fans, rest assured, Slawenski is no phony: “I know it's inevitable that they are going to draw a correlation between me and Salinger, but this isn't a stunt . . . This is just the way I am."

    From The Guardian: A list of the top ten fictional poets, (and their fictional feuds). (via Harriet).

    Why is James Franco planning to adapt

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  • Jonathan Safran Foer
    February 22, 2011

    Feb 22, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Thanks to McNally Jackson Books' always enlightening Twitter feed, we’ve discovered the New Yorker’s primary documents digital archive, which contains fascinating reading material from recent articles, including a trove of “Documents From Legal Cases Involving Scientology,” an excerpt from Teju Cole’s novel Open City, and a heavily annotated draft of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address.

    Note: We’re going to miss marginalia.

    Do you know your Joshua Ferris from your Jonathan Safran Foer? Show your stuff with The Guardian’s Brooklyn books quiz.

    We’re looking forward to the 2012 Olympics in

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  • Wells Tower
    February 21, 2011

    Feb 21, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Wells Tower’s 2009 story collection, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, was met with nearly universal critical praise, the capstone being Edmund White’s glowing front page review in the Times book review, an enviable accomplishment for an author who had already made a name for himself as an ace magazine reporter (he has since been deemed one of the New Yorker's twenty best writers under 40). Now, in the Brooklyn Rail, Paul Maliszewski has written a much-discussed, mostly negative review of Tower's work, noting a curious inertness in his fiction, and finding that it is too much like his

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  • Geoff Dyer, photo by Jason Oddy.
    February 18, 2011

    Feb 18, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Wonkette has a hilarious takedown of “literary detective” Jack Cashill’s horrific-sounding book Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President. Published this week, the volume argues—among other things—that Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s book Dreams from My Father, and derides the president for claiming to be influenced by Langston Hughes and Richard Wright (because they were communists!).

    The Times blames “strategic missteps, executive turnover and a failure to understand the digital revolution” for Borders' bankruptcy, in an article detailing the chain’s

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  • February 17, 2011

    Feb 17, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    At The Rumpus, Jessica Probus imagines what it would be like to have sex with a list of books, beginning with Kafka’s Metamorphosis. And in the comments section, readers name the book that, were it human, they’d like to pick up in a bar.

    Are e-books more permanent than print? Now that Borders is filing bankruptcy, Kobo has had to reassure its customers on the company’s FAQ page: “The Borders e-book experience is powered by Kobo, an entirely separate company from Borders. Kobo is financially secure and will continue to maintain your e-book library no matter what happens.”

    At the Paris Review

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  • Andrew O’Hagan
    February 16, 2011

    Feb 16, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Meet the alleged ghostwriter of Julian Assange’s forthcoming memoir: Novelist and critic Andrew O’Hagan, whose significant list of accomplishments include conducing a public interview with Norman Mailer and writing a novel from the point of view of Marylin Monroe’s dog.

    The story behind how twenty four year old Alexandra Kleeman had her debut short story, “Fairy Tale,” published in the Paris Review.

    James Wolcott reports that he’s received an alarming email from Martin Amis, asking Wolcott to provide him and his wife a place to crash, because he’s “being persecuted in his native land and

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  • Thomas Bernhard
    February 15, 2011

    Feb 15, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Borders is going bankrupt.

    Why do English-language readers of Thomas Bernhard like him in a way that German-language readears don’t? Gideon Lewis-Kraus explains at n+1: “I suspect the chief reason we’ve taken to Bernhard in a way that surprises German-speakers is that we have long been accustomed to the great pleasures of what the English writer Geoff Dyer has called ‘the literature of neurasthenia, of anxiety, fretting, complaint.’”

    Senior editor Donovan Hohn has left Harper’s magazine to become a features editor at GQ.

    Tonight at the Barnes and Noble in Manhattan's Union Square, Physicist

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