• David Foster Wallace and friend
    October 28, 2010

    Oct 28, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The Millions links to a previously unpublished story by David Foster Wallace, which a few years ago was circulated samizdat-style and is now on Tumblr. The story, presumably from the author's forthcoming posthumous novel, The Pale King, opens with a boy who wants "to press his lips to every square inch of his body," hinting at a tragic mix of self-love and overwhelming isolation in ways that only DFW can.

    Daniel Ellsberg, the man famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971 (and the subject of a recent PBS documentary, "The Most Dangerous Man in America"), has just signed a contract

    Read more
  • Andy Hunter
    October 27, 2010

    Oct 27, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    In an article about his literary magazine, Electric Literature, Brooklyn-based editor Andy Hunter offers an insightful meditation on how to succeed in contemporary publishing: "People often refer to Electric Literature as an 'online magazine.' In reality, online is the only place we do not publish." The innovative publisher just released its latest app, produced with author Stephen Elliott for his excellent memoir The Adderall Diaries (film rights for Elliott's book were recently optioned by James Franco).

    Elliott's Rumpus Book Club unveils its latest selections, which include Rumpus Women

    Read more
  • Keith Richards
    October 26, 2010

    Oct 26, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Keith Richards's memoir Life, for which he was paid a $7 million advance, is out, and the reviews are good. Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani—clearly a Stones fan—calls the book "electrifying." She continues: "Mr. Richards’s prose is like his guitar playing: intense, elemental, utterly distinctive and achingly, emotionally direct." At the Huffington Post, Jesse Kornbluth says Richards "serves [up his storires] like his guitar riffs—in your face, nasty, confrontational, rich, smart, and, in the end, unforgettable." (The stories include how he did drugs not to nod out, but so he could work.)

    Read more
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah
    October 25, 2010

    Oct 25, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Richard Nash's new publishing venture, Cursor, will be launched this spring with Lynne Tillman’s story collection Someday This Will Be Funny. Nash has big plans to adapt to the rapidly changing publishing industry, and they go beyond e-books: “I don’t know whether this is grandiose or insane or whatever, but I am trying to change about 18 different things at once."

    Amazon has announced that the Kindle will soon allow you to lend e-books.

    The Virginia Quarterly Review is blogging again after a three-month hiatus following managing editor Kevin Morrissey's suicide and a subsequent investigation

    Read more
  • Ben Greenman
    October 22, 2010

    Oct 22, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    At the New Republic, Ruth Franklin weighs in on the weak Kathryn Harrison review of Lydia Davis's new translation of Madame Bovary. Unlike Harrison, Franklin actually addresses the quality of the translation, and in some ways finds Davis's approach lacking: "Faithful to a fault, even to the extent of preserving awkwardnesses and infelicities that other translators have silently smoothed out."

    Rick Moody has kicked off his series of tweets about the future of publishing.

    Mediabistro's GalleyCat recently joined other book review editors on a a panel to offer recommendations for how to pitch

    Read more
  • Tea Obreht
    October 21, 2010

    Oct 21, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The owners of Editor and Publisher, once dubbed the "bible of the newspaper industry," have laid off the three staff members who survived the journal's sale earlier this year.

    The University of Virginia has released its investigation of the Virginia Quarterly Review in the wake managing editor Kevin Morrissey's suicide this summer, and while editor Ted Genoways has been cleared of bullying charges, the report does recommend that "appropriate corrective action" be taken for Genoways's brusque managment style and his "failure . . . to follow institutional procedures in a variety of areas."

    Read more
  • James Franco
    October 20, 2010

    Oct 20, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    James Franco just published his debut collection of short stories, Palo Alto. Is it any good? The critical deck is surely stacked against him, as Michael Lindgren writes in the Washington Post: "There is no rule that says handsome young movie stars cannot also be gifted writers, but Franco's celebrity hangs like an unspoken rebuke over every word of Palo Alto. . . even if his prose somehow turned out to be staggeringly brilliant, the critics and bloggers and readers who make up the literary establishment would rather die than admit it."

    Colson Whitehead reads from his fictional guide, How to

    Read more
  • Harry Mathews
    October 19, 2010

    Oct 19, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    This year's Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Mario Vargas Llosa's new novel, The Dream of the Celt, will be published in English in 2011.

    Literary legend Harry Mathews is appearing tonight at Manhattan's 192 Books. Mathews founded the short-lived literary journal Locus Solus in the sixties with the New York School poets John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler, and in 1972 became the first American member of the influential French writing group the OULIPO (workshop for potential literature); he co-edited the OULIPO's definitive English language collection. This evening, Mathews will be

    Read more
  • Raymond Carver
    October 18, 2010

    Oct 18, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    If some sociologists regard intellectuals (you know, writers, ticket-takers at the roller-derby, etc.) as a sui generis group that transcends the otherwise surly bonds of class, Gerry Howard would disagree. In his essay in the current issue of Tin House, he reminds us how working-class scribes—Raymond Carver, Ken Kesey, Dorothy Allison—mined their blue-collar backgrounds to piercing, instructive effect, even as sophisticated critics, say, in Carver’s case, celebrated his fiction for begin deliciously “squalid.” Howard expands his case to address the current literary scene: “Working-class people

    Read more
  • Natasha Wimmer
    October 15, 2010

    Oct 15, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    According to the MobyLives blog, NPR has one rule about authors, which is known as the "dibs system": "No one can appear on more than one NPR show. Ever." Unless, that is, you're Michele Norris, author of The Grace of Silence, a new memoir about her family's racial history (and myths). Since that book appeared in stores, Morris has appeared on four different NPR shows, which might or might not have something to do with the fact that she is a co-host of NPR's All Things Considered. The coverage has been controversial enough that Alicia Shepard, NPR's ombudsman, has issued a report explaining

    Read more
  • Xiaoda Xiao
    October 14, 2010

    Oct 14, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Bookforum and London Review of Books contributor Alex Abramovich edited the Very Short List back when it was owned by InterActiveCorp (and did an excellent job), but was let go when Barry Diller sold the site to the New York Observer in June 2009. Now, more than a year later, it seems that the VSL just can't quit Abramovich: the NYO has just hired the writer to edit the website once again.

    The rumors that Stieg "Dragon Tatoo" Larsson wrote a fourth novel are apparently true. His family has "confirmed the existence of another manuscript."

    The National Book Award finalists have been announced

    Read more
  • Howard Jacobson
    October 13, 2010

    Oct 13, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Surprise 2010 Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson on comic novels: "Comedy breaks every trance—that's its function. Comedy is nothing if not critical. From the very beginning the comic novel set out to argue with everything and to set us arguing with one another."

    A profile of Ethiopian author Dinaw Mengestu and his highly anticipated second novel, How to Read the Air, which will be published this week.

    Future sociologists will undoubtedly ask of our era: "What was the Hipster?" Luckily, n+1 is tackling the query on multiple fronts, with a new book and two panel discussion: one last year

    Read more