• A writing studio designed by Andrew Berman
    May 12, 2010

    May 12, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    A room of one's own: Andrew Berman creates the ideal private library and writing studio, but with all that foliage in view, who could get any work done?

    Would Jane Austen wear Prada? "Most readers and writers would admit clothing is pretty important in literature as well as in film and drama. There’s a lot of dressing-up going on in the arts," writes Helen Barnes-Bulley. In the 1930s, Nancy Drew had some sexy secrets, including "dainty lingerie," but implored a partner-in-crime to tone down her feminine wiles: "We are going to use strategy, but not charm, so put that frilly frock away." 


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  • May 11, 2010

    May 11, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The 48 Hour Magazine team is still a bit groggy from this weekend's editorial drag race, but the project has been deemed a success, though the WSJ blog wrinkles its brow in consternation at the thought: "Creating a magazine from start to finish in two days sounds like an insane, nearly impossible task." The end product, a sixty-page first issue called (what else?) Hustle, will soon be available for purchase on magcloud. The editors have posted a blog of inspiring YouTube clips that helped them along the way—certain to come in handy when you're up against a tight deadline—as well as a list of

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  • Neal Cassady in 1955, from the National Gallery of Art's exhibition "Beat Memories."
    May 10, 2010

    May 10, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Allen Ginsberg saw the best minds of his generation pose rakishly, and snapped many of the era's defining pictures. An exhibition of his photographs, which opened last week at the National Gallery, features the usual suspects; a shot of Neal Cassady under a movie marquee heralding The Wild One and Tarzan the Ape Man looks staged as the Beat apotheosis—or perhaps a scene from this year's film Howl, starring James Franco as the bearded bard. Franco, recently caught napping during a lecture at Ginsberg's alma matter, must have been channeling the poet's truant spirit—Ginsberg spent his Columbia

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  • Jon Meacham
    May 07, 2010

    May 7, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    On the heels of last year's redesign—the equivalent of a cry for help—Newsweek is up for sale, leading to earnest proclamations that the end of the newsweekly era is upon us. Editor Jon Meacham is scrambling to round up bidders to buy the magazine. In an interview with Jon Stewart, a long-faced Meacham talked about the future of reporting, "in a time when people don't want to pay for news," (here's part 2). An inevitable Meacham backlash is beginning, with media commentators like David CarrJack Shafer, and James Fallows piling on the beleaguered editor, while Fishbowl NY rounds up the 5 ways

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  • Jayne Anne Phillips
    May 06, 2010

    May 6, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    The Atlantic's fiction issue provokes a couple of reactions: First, we're glad to see the monthly that all but foreswore short stories five years ago (after regularly publishing them since 1857) is back in the game; and second, we wonder how Washington, DC (the magazine is headquartered there) fosters such provincial taste? They don't have any trouble finding international authors in Rochester or Champaign, but apparently the vantage from the capital of the free world allows editors to spy out mostly homegrown luminaries like Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Theroux, and T. C. Boyle. As the VQR review

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  • From Wilson by Daniel Clowes
    May 05, 2010

    May 5, 2010 @ 8:30:00 am

    Google is elbowing its way into the e-book business this summer.

    The Literary Platform profiles book-based experiments from across the web; recent posts include a look at a nineteenth century text revolution, an interview with intriguing book app inventor Peter Collingridge, and an essay about making Alice in Wonderland for the iPad.

    Hari Kunzru’s story, "Memories of the Decadence,” has won a 2010 Pushcart Prize

    Maud Newton's notes on eight years of book blogging.

    Daniel Clowes reads from Wilson at the Strand tonight.

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  • Percival Everett
    May 04, 2010

    May 4, 2010 @ 8:30:00 am

    An early Thomas Bernhard story, "Two Tutors," gets its first English translation.

    Pico Iyer has always had a problem with William T. Vollmann. So what's he doing reviewing Vollmann's Kissing the Mask in the Times?

    In the new issue of The Believer, Percival Everett’s seventeenth novel, I Am Not Sidney Poitierwins the Book Award, and Rick Moody raves about Charlie Smith's forthcoming fiction Three Delays: "Want to read about how harrowing and essential love can really be? Dip in here. Be made alive."

    Emily Gould offers a free audiobook excerpt from her memoirAnd the Heart Says Whatever,

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  • Salman Rushdie
    May 03, 2010

    May 3, 2010 @ 8:30:00 am

    In the battle of fatwa versus fiction, Salman Rushdie has the last word: "One of us is dead, do not mess with novels." Rushdie, in conversation with Christopher Hitchens, gave the keynote of the PEN World Voices Festival last night. Catch up on a world of authors with blogs from the fest, excerpts from participating writers' work, photosvideo and audio clips. Highlights include Patti Smith's chat with Jonathan Lethem, a Utopia and Dystopia panel, and A. M. Homes's talk with Philippe Djian.

    Toronto’s Comic Arts Festival is in full swing.

    Tonight at McNally Jackson books, Marisa Silver, author

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  • Inga Kuznetsova, a PEN American Center World Voices panelist
    April 30, 2010

    Apr 30, 2010 @ 8:00:00 am

    A curtain call for Ted Willams at the Library of America, as John Updike's classic essay on Williams, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu," is republished as a new volume, fifty years after the Splendid Splinter's last at bat, in which he blasted a homer and then didn't tip his cap to the crowd.

    Surfing the Voice Literary Supplement's online archives with artforum.com editor-at-large Brian Sholis.

    Take a long lunch break—or the day off—and wander over to the PEN American Center's World Voices Festival this afternoon. Among the many edifying events is "Utopia and Dystopia: Geographies of the Possible,"

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  • The 1930s Kindle, Allen Lane's Penguincubator
    April 29, 2010

    Apr 29, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    In the 1930s, publisher Allen Lane installed a book-vending machine, the Penguincubator, in places where books were not supposed to be. What can we learn from Lane?

    "Tell all the truth but tell it slant," Emily Dickinson wrote, and scholars have been slanting her life-story ever since. Lyndall Gordon tips the familiar Dickinson myths and spills new revelations in Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family’s Feud. Gordon places Dickinson at the center of a "seething Peyton Place of adultery, betrayal and lifelong feuding," and posits that perhaps Dickinson was epileptic


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