• Wayne Koestenbaum
    July 11, 2011

    Jul 11, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    On the heels of its best-of nonfiction roundup—which ended in a tie between Joan Didion and Joan Didion—The New York Times Magazine releases a list of favorite novels as selected by Times staffers. Turns out, the sixth floor’s taste skews to the classics. With Sam Anderson’s blessing, Lolita was crowned the universal favorite, though NYT magazine editor Hugo Lindgren didn’t miss the opportunity to sneak in a DeLillo knock: “I’m sorry, but White Noise is overrated—a great novelist cracking grad-student one-liners.”

    In a series of new videos, poet-novelist-critic Wayne Koestenbaum, author of a

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  • July 08, 2011

    Jul 8, 2011 @ 3:00:00 pm

    With former spokesman and ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson arrested, Prime Minister David Cameron pledges to overhaul British media. "I believe we need a new system entirely,” Cameron asserted this morning. Slate media critic Jack Shafer, however, has a different take: “Cameron is trying to make general problem out of too-cozy press-media relations. It's his specific problem.”

    As News of the World editors scramble to get their stories straight, The Guardian quizzes readers on great denials in literature.

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  • Steve Jobs
    July 08, 2011

    Jul 8, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    In April, Simon & Schuster announced plans to publish Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs tentatively titled iSteve: A Book of Jobs, in 2012. Many people derided the title; now, as Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports, the book has been given a new, no-frills name: Steve Jobs. We wonder if perhaps Simon & Schuster had second thoughts because they don’t want to be associated with right-wing blogger Steve Sailer, who goes by the catchy moniker “iSteve” online. In April, Sailer angrily put out a "request for pro bono legal help," stating, “I shall defend my iSteve brand and intellectual

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  • Jennifer 8. Lee
    July 07, 2011

    Jul 7, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    Blogger, author, cooking show host, and all-around media phenomenon Emily Gould is about to add another role to her ever-expanding repertoire: niche e-book vendor. The Observer reports that Gould and Ruth Curry, the best friend featured in Gould’s 2008 New York Times Magazine cover story, are discussing launching an imprint with OR Books. EmilyBooks.com is described as a “curated site” that will carry “a small number of hand-selected books.” According to an email Gould sent to OR co-founder John Oakes: “Our goal is to be super-specialized and targeted and to build an audience that trusts us.”

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  • July 06, 2011

    Jul 6, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    Michael Kimball, author of the deeply sad novel, Dear Everybody, and a master of the micro-biography, has sold his new novel, Big Ray, to Bloomsbury.

    In The Believer’s music issue, historian Paul Collins recounts the golden era of cars equipped with record players, including this description of Chrysler’s harrowing road-test: “Horn-rimmed execs swapped records in and out of the player as the auto giant’s president wildly drove a car over a torture-track of cobblestone, speed bumps, and washboard test strips . . . . [The] player performed perfectly, and the car swung into the test garage with

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  • Jarvis Cocker
    July 05, 2011

    Jul 5, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces allegations of attempted rape from French novelist Tristane Banon just days after a case against Strauss-Kahn for sexual misconduct with a hotel maid seemed to disintegrate.

    Brit-pop singer Jarvis Cocker has a new book, Mother, Brother, Lover, being published this fall by Faber & Faber. Cocker, known for his epic and sultry evocations of everyday life in songs such as “Common People,” talks with Faber publisher Lee Brackstone about writing lyrics, and how falling out of a window led to a lyrical breakthrough.

    In her eloquent New York Times review

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  • Alan Hollinghurst
    July 01, 2011

    Jul 1, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, a “Tea Party politician on the rise,” has signed a book deal with Sentinel, which will publish her memoir Can’t Is Not an Option: My Story in January 2012.

    The Guardian details the disastrous results of the recently announced Booker Prize, which columnist (and Wodehouse biographer) Robert McCrum calls a “car crash.” Meanwhile, another one of Britain’s literary awards, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, has been suspended.

    The Rest Is Noise author Alex Ross has been documenting his visit to Italy, including his trip to Venice’s San Michel cemetery, where he

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  • Dorothy Parker
    June 30, 2011

    Jun 30, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    Was Shakespeare a stoner?

    Oxford ditches the comma, deeply annoying the spirit of David Foster Wallace. “[Wallace] is the only writer ever to convince (or even try to convince) the famously stubborn Times copy desk that we should temporarily ignore the paper’s famous serial-comma rule—the paper doesn’t use them; this really drove David nuts.”

    Chris Suellentrop quits NYT Magazine to join Yahoo News.

    On July 2, the Publication Studio is throwing a “collaborative event” at the Brooklyn Grange Farm, “a zero chemical input commercial urban farm located on a New York City rooftop.”

    Penguin goes

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  • Simon Reynolds
    June 29, 2011

    Jun 29, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    Members of the Village Voice’s union shop are prepared to strike if a new contract with company management is not agreed upon by midnight on Thursday. We doubt it will come to that (Voice contract negotiations have historically involved threats of a strike), but if it does, the union says that it will launch an alternative website.

    In Chicago, retired engineer Malcolm O'Hagan is planning the American Writers Museum. The city has a long literary history, with authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Saul Bellow, and Raymond Chandler calling the windy city home, as well as hosting contemporary authors

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  • Thomas Beller
    June 28, 2011

    Jun 27, 2011 @ 8:40:00 pm

    Philip Roth says he no longer reads any fiction at all. Why? “I wised up,” he reports.

    Thomas Beller—the author, Open City editor, and mastermind behind the website of urban writing Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood—has written an entertaining article about following a Google Street View car in New Orleans.

    The Paris Review website has a post about Tom Bean and Luke Poling’s feature documentary, Plimpton!, which details the rich life of editor, writer, fireworks enthusiast, bon vivant, and sometime baseball player George Plimpton (he also sparred with boxing legends Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson,

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  • Deborah Eisenberg
    June 27, 2011

    Jun 27, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    The New York Review of Books has published a new story by master short fiction writer Deborah Eisenberg. In the story, a young boy named Adam looks through his family’s photo album and finds an exciting revelation.

    This weekend’s New York Times Magazine story by Jose Vargas, in which he confesses to falsifying documents to illegally work as a US journalist for years, has been met with sharply conflicting reactions in the media world.

    Elizabeth Bishop refused to be a token woman in all-male poetry anthologies, and didn’t want to be in all-female collections, either, writing: “Undoubtedly gender

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  • Tao Lin
    June 24, 2011

    Jun 24, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

    Last month, the New York Times gave Jon-Jon Goulian the triple-crown treatment, devoting three articles to the literary-party mainstay whose memoir, The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt, was set to make him one of “the season's publishing darlings.” But according to the Awl and the New York Post’s Page Six, Goulian’s book, for which Random House paid a reported $700,000 advance, has sold only 957 copies in the first month.

    NPR's Fresh Air remembers historian Tony Judt.

    Christopher Frizzelle, editor of the alt-weekly The Seattle Stranger, claims that novelist Tao Lin and his publisher, Melville

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