• Joshua Cohen
    April 01, 2010

    Apr 1, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Stephen King isn't the only writer with a baseball novel on deck: Chad Harbach, who contributes articles to n+1, has sold his first novel, tentatively titled The Art of Fielding, to Little, Brown for $650,000.

    "The M.F.A. is a degree in servitude," Joshua Cohen tells the New York Observer. "It is a way to keep writing safe." In a lively profile of Cohen, the Observer compares the author's forthcoming Witz, a novel about the hunt for the last living Jew, to Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow.

    The cover image for Jonathan Franzen's long-awaited September novel, Freedom, has been released

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  • David Mamet
    March 31, 2010

    Mar 31, 2010 @ 6:20:00 am

    If you can weather a blizzard of ALL CAPS WRITING, David Mamet's recently leaked memo to the writers of the TV show The Unit has some wise writing advice. Our two cents? Good prose begins when you release the caps-lock key.

    Glen Beck's new novel, The Overton Window, is coming out this summer. Beck, a newsman known for his measured tone and fair and balanced reporting, supposedly loosens his tie a little in his fiction. We can't wait to see the fiery emotion roiling underneath his placid surface.

    Sorry, print, reports of your death have turned out to be only slightly exaggerated. Rumors

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  • Philip Pullman
    March 30, 2010

    Mar 30, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    The Austrian author Stefan Zweig, a friend of Freud, and once the most translated author in the world, has gained a lot of stateside popularity after a 2006 appreciation by Joan Acocella. Then, the backlash began, initiated by a devastating, and convincing, critique by Michael Hofmann, who wrote that Zweig's literary output was "just putrid." So we wonder, along with The Guardian's Nicholas Lezard, is there's still "a place for Stefan?"

    Canongate Books's iPhone app for Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ will feature videos of the author, allow you to to email

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  • Virginie Despentes
    March 29, 2010

    Mar 29, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    As James Shapiro's new book argues that Shakespeare really did write all that great work, Oxford University Press has announced a new complete, modernized edition of the Bard's work, set for publication in 2016. Oxford's scholars will "make careful use of all the surviving original documents," and offer readers alternate versions, a choice of modern or original spelling, and both print and digital editions.

    The winner of the annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title has been announced.

    Virginie Despentes, author of King Kong Theory, wonders why Hollywood spends millions on slickly

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  • Marlon James
    March 26, 2010

    Mar 26, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    The Morning News Tournament of Books has us on the edge of our seats. Wednesday's competition—between the formidable novelists Hillary Mantel and Nicholson Baker—was a thrill (Mantel's Wolf Hall won by a nose). On Thursday, Marlon James edged out Victor Lavalle. And soon, we'll get to know the literary taste of motivational speaker and party rocker Andrew W.K. Place your bets now: the winner will be announced on April 5.

    Referring to e-books, The Village Voice proclaimed, "OK, here comes the flood." In 2000.

    Though best-known as a writer of high-minded YA fiction, Philip Pullman is

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  • Mary Gaitskill
    March 25, 2010

    Mar 25, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Pomona College is trying to fill David Foster Wallace's former teaching position. The top candidates—Chris Abani, Edie Meidav, and Jonathan Lethem—have infinitely large expectations to live up to.

    But out your PJs: Tonight, Bookforum contributor Wayne Koestenbaum and Jeff Dolven discuss the "poetics of sleep" from bunk beds.

    From an interview with Mary Gaitskill, in which she talks about literary film adaptations, the JT Leroy controversy, and Nabokov's The Original of Laura: "it’s a travesty to have published it. Nabokov was a perfectionist. I don’t even want to read it, frankly." (At

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  • Emily Gould
    March 24, 2010

    Mar 23, 2010 @ 8:16:00 pm

    Emily Gould's Tumblr page is mainly devoted to cute kitties, but also contains what she swears is her last response to a book review, ever; a rebuke of Ana Marie Cox's review of Gould's forthcoming memoir And the Heart Says Whatever.

    Does your favorite periodical pass the "droop test"?

    Former Soft Skull Press boss and publishing guru Richard Nash's vision of the e-book future: Big publishers will disappear, but "long-form text-only narrative will continue to thrive."

    OR Books has rejected Amazon's distribution offer. According to OR's Colin Robinson, "We can do a better job finding

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  • March 23, 2010

    Mar 23, 2010 @ 3:59:00 pm

    Sherman Alexie has won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for War Dances, a collection of short stories and poems. The highlight of the collection, the title story, was published in the New Yorker in August.

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  • Victor Lavalle
    March 23, 2010

    Mar 23, 2010 @ 9:26:00 am

    Last night's event at Brooklyn's Greenlight Bookstore bodes well for Beatrice.com Ron Hogan's new author-meets-blogger series. Novelist Victor Lavalle read from his excellent new book, Big Machine, and chatted with blog queen Maud Newton about "horror" in fiction, finding his character's voice, and his own childhood days spent skipping church to go to the arcade. We'll be back at Greenlight on Wednesday, when authors/musicians Rick Moody and Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) read from their recent work and play music.

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