• February 14, 2011

    Feb 14, 2011 @ 3:00:00 pm

    Wait, we almost forgot: It’s Valentine’s Day! Over at The Independent, John Walsh wonders if we’ve “lost the art of writing love letters”? And at FiveChapters.com, Lynne Tillman offers part one of her story “Love Sentences,” which (so far) examines the evolution of love letters, and introduces us to a character who seems especially attuned to the gap between feeling and text: “I want ecstasy, not evidence.”

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  • Ahmed Fouad Negm, photo by Dana Smillie/Polaris, for the New York Times
    February 14, 2011

    Feb 14, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    The Paris Review’s poetry editor Robyn Creswell has a fascinating essay in yesterday’s Times about the role of authors in Egyptian society and in the January 25th revolution. Creswell notes that “for the crowds in Tahrir, now is above all a time for poetry, and the muse of the moment may be Ahmed Fouad Negm,” the dissident poet who has spent many years in jail, and wrote this oft-chanted poem: “They are the rich, and the government is on their side. / We are the poor, the governed. / Think about it, use your head. / See which one of us rules the other.”

    The much-anticipated Los Angeles Review

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  • Thomas Sayers Ellis
    February 11, 2011

    Feb 11, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    George Jones, Palace Brothers, Silver Jews, and Neil Young: Author Justin Taylor offers a “secret soundtrack” to his new novel, The Gospel of Anarchy.

    At The Paris Review, Blair Fuller recounts a night in 1952 when he had drinks with J.D. Salinger, who discussed Buddhism, dissed Harvard, and pledged his love to a young woman he had just met.

    Poet Thomas Sayers Ellis has stolen a life-sized cardboard cutout of Langston Hughes from a Washington, DC, restaurant and poetry venue called Busboys and Poets, in protest of the low rates poets receive for reading there.

    The New York Times, they are

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  • February 10, 2011

    Feb 10, 2011 @ 9:07:00 am

    On channel Thirteen’s Bookish blog, there’s an article with many choice quotes from Zadie Smith’s fascinating recent talk at NYU. Among our favorites: “The novelist has to cultivate the filthy, stupidity, awkwardness . . . things that seem beneath contempt, like love, the tediousness of love.”

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  • Roberto Bolano
    February 10, 2011

    Feb 10, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Daniel Nester—a poet and the high priest of inappropriateness—analyzes data about the survival rates of literary magazines.

    The Paris Review announces its Spring issue, which will feature an interview with Janet Malcolm, fiction by Joshua Cohen, and the first installment of a serialized novel by Roberto Bolano.

    At Guernica magazine, former Harper’s editor Robert D. Hodge says, “I despair for the future of Harper’s Magazine.” To survive, he argues, the magazine will have to “exploit the full resources of its non-profit status; the magazine must raise funds on the web, it must hold galas and

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  • Mima Simic, photo © Jelena Topcic
    February 09, 2011

    Feb 9, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Croatian author Mima Simić was thrilled when she heard that her story “My Girlfriend” (translated into English by the author) was selected for Dalkey Archive Press’s Best European Fiction 2011 anthology. However, she was “shocked, appalled and flabbergasted” when she received the book and found egregious errors introduced by an editor of the story (one character, whose gender is intentionally ambiguous in the original, becomes a man in the edited version). So Simić did what any angry author looking to start a tempest in the literature-in-translation world would do: She wrote an open letter to

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  • Elizabeth Bishop
    February 08, 2011

    Feb 8, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    At the New Republic, Ruth Franklin answers some of the questions raised by VIDA’s recent survey, which shows an alarming disparity in the number of women reviewed or published in literary magazines. Franklin finds that the problem begins with the fact that book publishers release many more titles by men than women, and so actually, “magazines are reviewing female authors in something close to the proportion of books by women published each year.” And at Bookslut, Alizah Salario offers an engaging first-person commentary on the issue: “Twenty-Three Short Thoughts About Women and Criticism.”

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  • Trinie Dalton
    February 07, 2011

    Feb 7, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    We were excited to learn that the venerable independent press 2 Dollar Radio—which has brought out deeply original contemporary classics such as Rudolph Wurlitzer’s Drop Edge of Yonderhas announced its latest acquisition: Baby Geisha, by the consistently fascinating author, journalist, and editor Trinie Dalton, whose books include the excellent collection of So-Cal fantasia and horror Wide-Eyed. The new story collection will come out in January 2012.

    Magazine editor, radio host, and novelist Kurt Andersen might be able to add another skill to his resume: urban planning. He wants to

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  • February 04, 2011

    Feb 4, 2011 @ 6:00:00 pm

    Editor Hugo Lindgren continues to remake the Sunday Times Magazine, with Q and A maestro Deborah Solomon out (she’s planning to devote her time to writing a Norman Rockwell biography), and columnist Ariel Kaminer reportedly replacing Randy Cohen as the house Ethicist.

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  • Meghan O’Rourke
    February 04, 2011

    Feb 4, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    From the New York Times Arts Beat blog (the new home of their book blog Paper Cuts), here’s a reading list for the crisis in Egypt. Meanwhile, Atlantic contributing editor and Bookforum regular Graeme Wood continues to file blog posts from Cairo; in his most recent dispatch, he describes being dragged down the street by an Egyptian mob.

    The New York Times previews its e-books bestsellers list, slated to appear in print next weekend.

    The literary arts website VIDA has released a 2010 count of how often women are published and reviewed in a variety of large and small literary magazines, and

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  • Reif Larsen
    February 03, 2011

    Feb 3, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Tonight, Bookforum and Villa Gillet present “Starting from Here: Every Place Tells a Story,” at the French Institute Alliance Française in Manhattan. Panelists include American writers Reif Larsen and Peter Turchi, French author Philippe Vasset, and French geographer Michel Lussault. Moderated by Bookforum co-editor Albert Mobilio, the participants will discuss the ways in which maps and stories narrate a sense of place.

    Yesterday morning at the Guggenheim, Rupert Murdoch successfully launched his iPad newspaper, The Daily (the only hitch was when a reporter from a rival news organization

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  • February 02, 2011

    Feb 2, 2011 @ 6:00:00 pm

    Atlantic contributing editor and Bookforum regular Graeme Wood is reporting from Cairo’s Tahir square, offering a riveting first-person account of the peaceful protest's violent turn earlier today. In our current issue, Wood reviews Mario Vargas Llosa’s latest historical novel, El Sueno del celta, about the conflicted life of liberator Roger Casement.

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