• 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
  • October 12, 2010

    Oct 12, 2010 @ 2:38:00 pm

    Howard Jacobson has won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question. In 2007, Gideon Lewis-Kraus wrote in Bookforum: "Jacobson is funnier, sentence for sentence, than early Roth and Joseph Heller put together. All comparisons aside, however, the simple point is that Jacobson deserves to be read, and read widely, on his own terms."

    Read more
  • Salman Rushdie
    October 12, 2010

    Oct 12, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Salman Rushdie is writing a memoir about the years he spent in hiding beginning in 1989, when the Ayatollah Khomeini decreed that Rushdie should be killed for the "blasphemy" in his novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie says of the memoir, "So far I feel that I'm right—I'm not getting churned up and upset, I'm just writing it and I'm feeling quite pleased."

    UbuWeb, the great online archive of avant-garde poetry, film, music, and performance has been hacked and is closed "until further notice."

    Now that Hugo Lindgren has been named the editor of the New York Times Magazine, what should he do with

    Read more
  • Tom McCarthy: odds-on favorite for the Man Booker prize.
    October 11, 2010

    Oct 11, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Imprisoned 2010 Nobel Peace Prize-winning author Liu Xiaobo has been unable to talk to journalists since the award was announced on Friday, and his wife, Liu Xia, is now under house arrest. During a short visit, Liu told his wife that he was dedicating the prize to victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Chinese authorities have called the Nobel a "blasphemy," imposed a blackout on news of the prize, and broken up a banquet celebrating the victory.

    The Frankfurt Book Fair ended on Sunday, with novelist David Grossman taking home the fest's Peace prize. Grossman will be appearing tonight

    Read more
  • Liu Xiaobo
    October 08, 2010

    Oct 8, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to imprisoned Chinese author and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo. The PEN American Center has been campaigning for Xiaobo to win the prize (and for his release); last December, authors E. L. Doctorow, Don DeLillo, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Edward Albee, A.M. Homes, and Honor Moore gathered on the New York Public Library's steps to rally on his behalf.

    More on 2010 Nobel Prize in literature winner Mario Vargas Llosa: the author's first press conference after winning the Nobel; Granta editor John Freeman on why Vargas Llosa was a "phenomenal choice" for the

    Read more
  • Mario Vargas Llosa
    October 07, 2010

    Oct 7, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize in literature, becoming the first South American writer to win the 1.5 million dollar prize since Gabriel Garcia Marquez won it in 1982. Perhaps the shared glory will end the longstanding feud between the two authors, which climaxed the day Vargas Llosa decked Garcia Marquez in a movie theater, leaving him with a black eye.

    OR books co-publisher John Oakes describes the imprint's unique business model at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

    Tonight, NYU is hosting a memorial celebration for David Markson, the experimental novelist (and David

    Read more
  • Grace Krilanovich
    October 06, 2010

    Oct 6, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    At Publishing Perspectives, Chad W. Post reports on why Douglas Rushkoff, who will speak at the Frankfurt Book Fair, moved from Random House to the innovative start-up publisher OR Books: "With the traditional publishing system, there are too many middlemen, and too many people needing to justify their place in the food chain,” he says. “This ends up costing a lot of money, and ultimately costing a lot of time, too.”

    Tonight, New York City's prose fetishists and fans of experimental fiction will likely be heading to a talk titled "On the Well-Tempered Sentence," featuring Gary Lutz, Ben

    Read more