• March 19, 2010

    Mar 19, 2010 @ 3:27:00 pm

    Bookforum's HQ is jazzed-up over the sunny weather, the arrival of our new print issue, and the apropos sight of Beckett in shades, sandals, and shorts. There hasn't been this much jittery excitement in the office since Stumptown coffee opened a few blocks away.

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  • Elizabeth Benedict
    March 19, 2010

    Mar 19, 2010 @ 7:00:00 am

    Over at the Washington Post: "The least-accurate political memoirs ever written."

    The evidence, provided by author Frank Owen, is conclusive: Gerald Posner is a "journalistic vampire." Advice for Posner: Don't threaten to punch Owen in the nose.

    Amazon and Apple are in the midst of a high-stakes scrap over e-book pricing. Apple's iPad hasn't been released yet, but the buzz surrounding its hypothetical book app has reduced Amazon to drastic tactics.

    Elizabeth Benedict, editor of the anthology Mentors and Muses, sums up her feelings about e-books in six words. (We need only two words, the

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  • Jaron Lanier
    March 18, 2010

    Mar 18, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Move over David Remnick, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Bob Woodward—there's a new presidential historian in town. Porn-peddler Larry Flynt is writing a book about US presidents' (and first ladies') sex lives. According to the proposal, he will answer questions like: "How did a gay-love affair aid the secession movement?" And: "How did one of Wilson's affairs result in the first Jew on the Supreme Court?" We can't wait to find out.

    Though he resembles a disgruntled bar bouncer, Jaron Lanier is a virtual reality pioneer. He's playing the contrarian at the SXSWi Festival, delivering an unpopular

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  • March 17, 2010

    Mar 17, 2010 @ 11:42:00 am

    Job-juggling Bookforum co-editor Chris Lehmann has become managing editor of Yahoo!'s news blogs, but will continue to edit Bookforum. As the Observer explains: “The initial headline on this post suggested that Mr. Lehmann was leaving Bookforum. In fact, he will be continuing on as an editor at Bookforum in addition to his new role at Yahoo.”

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  • Tony Judt
    March 17, 2010

    Mar 17, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Scholar Tony Judt's book Ill Fares the Land goes on sale tomorrow. It was rushed to print by The Penguin Press (and rushed to review in the Times), presumably because Judt is suffering from ALS, which he has eloquently chronicled in the New York Review of Books. He's also been blogging his memoirs lately, including this intriguing piece about sexual politics in academia, Girls! Girls! Girls!

    The Book Examiner Michelle Kerns lists the 20 most annoying book reviewer clichés. Learn them by heart and you, too, could lead the “compelling” and “poignant” life of a literary critic, and host

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  • Editor Gordon Lish, photo by Bill Hayward
    March 16, 2010

    Mar 16, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    OR Books will publish Gordon Lish’s Collected Fictions on April 30th. Lish, best known as Raymond Carver’s Svengali, was an editor at Knopf and Esquire, a writing workshop drill sergeant, and a merciless pruner of purple prose. His stories are sure to attract intense scrutiny; we can already hear slighted authors sharpening their red pencils in anticipation.

    People still buy books! To celebrate, Publishers Weekly has named San Francisco shop City Lights Books the Bookseller of the Year.

    The New Yorker's recent profile of Mayor Richard M. Daley gets the Second City wrong, writes Chicago

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  • New York Times columnist David Carr
    March 15, 2010

    Mar 15, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    A video interview with New York Times columnist David Carr after Saturday's SXSW panel "Media Armageddon: What Happens When the New York Times Dies." Speaking of media Armageddon, Gawker quotes Carr saying they scoop him “all the time.”

    Will Walter Kirn be at the 92nd Street Y next Monday, when critic James Wood will discuss Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace? When Wallace died in 2008, Wood wrote a finely parsed remembrance of Wallace's work on Edward Champion's blog tribute page, and tried to refute Kirn's assertion that Wallace was one of the few "

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  • Cheever: A Life author Blake Bailey
    March 12, 2010

    Mar 12, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    The National Book Critics Circle awards have been announced. Three of the winners were all too predictable: Hillary Mantel won in fiction for Wolf Hall, Richard Holmes scored the non-fiction prize with The Age of Wonder, and Blake Bailey took home the biography prize for Cheever: A Life. But if there are people who bet on the NBCC Awards (and we hope there are), the big winnings went to those who put their money on Eula Biss, whose hard-to-categorize Notes from No Man's Land came out of nowhere to take the prize for criticism.

    Novelist Sam Lipsyte and Giancarlo Ditrapano talk vices over at

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  • Author Ariana Reines
    March 11, 2010

    Mar 11, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Tonight, the National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced. Catch up on all the nominees with thirty books in thirty days

    HarperCollins has nabbed Senator Scott Brown's memoir, set for publication in early 2011.

    The winners of the 2010 Best Translated Book Award were just announced. Gail Hareven’s The Confessions of Noa Weber, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu and published by Melville House Press, captured the award for fiction (beating out Robert Walser's The Tanners [!]), while Elena Fanailova’s The Russian Version, translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and

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  • Whip Smart author Melissa Febos
    March 10, 2010

    Mar 10, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Tonight at the New School, the finalists for this year's National Book Critics Circle award, which will be announced tomorrow night, will read their work. It's the book world's answer to the Academy Awards' red-carpet ceremony. Well, kind of. Unlike the Oscars, the NBCC event is free and open to the public.

    Want middlebrow? There will be an app for that.

    Proving that there is nothing in the world that can't be bought and shipped to Texas, David Foster Wallace's papers have landed in Austin. The Harry Ransom Center, with its Lone Star State-sized acquisitions budget, has scored many of

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