• Jennifer Egan, photo by Marion Ettlinger
    March 11, 2011

    Mar 11, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Last night, the NBCC announced its 2010 award winners, which included Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad (fiction), C.D. Wright’s One with Others (poetry), and Clare Cavanagh’s Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics (criticism). We were thrilled to see that Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live won the award for biography; her meditation on French essayist Montaigne is not just intelligent and engaging but probably the best self-help book we’ve ever come across.

    The Rumpus Book Club has announced its May selections: Orientation and Other Stories by Daniel Orozco and Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.

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  • NBCC Poetry Award Finalist Anne Carson
    March 10, 2011

    Mar 10, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Many people say contemporary poetry is an acquired taste—written for people in the know. But Oprah’s O magazine is trying to change that idea. In April, it will run its first poetry issue; a concept hatched during a sleepover with Maria Shriver, who will guest edit the issue. Other contributors include Matt Dillon on Yeats, Sting on Ted Hughes, and Bono in a feature called “Poetic Souls.” [Via the Book Bench]

    The National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced tonight at the New School. Here, the Washington Post rounds up the poetry finalists, whose work touches on, among other things,

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  • Georges Perec
    March 09, 2011

    Mar 9, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    The new Newsweek and the redesigned New York Times Magazine: A side-by-side comparison.

    Nothing can approximate the “if/then” contortions of OULIPO author Georges Perec’s newly translated volume, The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, but this interactive flow chart hints at the book’s hilarious and inventive office-drone odyssey. Dare you ask your boss for a raise today? You’d better check with Perec first.

    The 2011 Morning News Tournament of Books has begun. In the first round of competition, Teddy Wayne’s Kapitoil faced off against Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom—and lost. Judge Sarah Manguso

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  • Joanna Yas
    March 08, 2011

    Mar 8, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Editor Thomas Beller details the history of the recently closed literary magazine Open City, which he co-edited with Joanna Yas: “It’s a magazine, it’s over, life will go on. But there was a lot of life in it. A lot of death, too. Thirty issues in twenty years. A lot of life pressed into those pages.”

    When are we going to see the much-anticipated New York Times’s paywall? The paper’s own Public Editor, Arthur Brisbane, wanted to know, but the best answer he could get was this exasperated response from the Times’s Media Editor: “We still don’t know exactly when the paywall is going up, how much

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  • Victor Lavalle
    March 07, 2011

    Mar 7, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Here’s a fascinating document that reveals the editorial changes made to David Foster Wallace’s posthumously published story, “Backbone” (a fragment from his forthcoming novel The Pale King), before appearing in the New Yorker last week. [Via the Millions]

    Jon Cotner, one of the authors behind the excellent book, Ten Walks/Two Talks, has been covering the Armory Show for the Paris Review. In the process, he managed to ask Mayor Bloomberg what he thinks of Picasso’s blue period.

    Letterpress, the printing technique beloved by chapbook and limited edition art book publishers, comes to the iPad

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  • March 04, 2011

    Mar 4, 2011 @ 1:01:00 pm

    Biographer and critic Hazel Rowley has passed away at the age of 59. She wrote biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (Tete a Tete), Richard Wright, and Christina Stead, as well as the 2010 first-couple study Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. Rowley was an accomplished essayist and frequent contributor to Bookforum, in which she wrote about Wright and the 1950s culture wars, Beavoir’s 1960 trip to Brazil, and Paris’s legendary Village Voice bookstore.

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  • Hazel Rowley, photo by Mathieu Bourgois.
    March 04, 2011

    Mar 4, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Theodore Ross has a funny—and wise—article called “Drinking off the Job,” detailing how his life has changed after his recent departure from Harper’s magazine: "The past few weeks the better part of my social life has revolved around drinks. I can’t speak to the cultural mores of other industries, but publishing tends to liberally grease the runners of those it transports out the door."

    This April, OR Books is publishing Tweets from Tahrir, a collection of pivotal mini-dispatches from the epicenter of the Cairo uprising—telling the story of the Egyptian Revolution as it unfolded 140 characters

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  • Terry Castle
    March 03, 2011

    Mar 3, 2011 @ 9:00:00 am

    Apple guru Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance to unveil the new iPad (he is currently on sick leave). Apple has also announced that Random House will begin offering titles through the iBookstore, which has sold one hundred million books since its launch.

    Open City, the literary magazine run by Tom Beller, Joanna Yas, and others, is closing. The journal, which introduced us to voices such as Sam Lipsyte, and published vital work by many excellent authors for two decades, will be much missed. Luckily, the Open City Books imprint will continue.

    Literary critic Terry Castle’s smart, hilarious,

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  • 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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