• Victor Lavalle
    March 23, 2010

    Mar 23, 2010 @ 9:26:00 am

    Last night's event at Brooklyn's Greenlight Bookstore bodes well for Beatrice.com Ron Hogan's new author-meets-blogger series. Novelist Victor Lavalle read from his excellent new book, Big Machine, and chatted with blog queen Maud Newton about "horror" in fiction, finding his character's voice, and his own childhood days spent skipping church to go to the arcade. We'll be back at Greenlight on Wednesday, when authors/musicians Rick Moody and Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) read from their recent work and play music.

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  • March 23, 2010

    Mar 23, 2010 @ 6:01:00 am

    Has the iPad been naughty? Apple has demanded that companies with early access to the tablet computer subject it to strict, dominatrix-style treatment: "The companies must agree to keep the iPad hidden from public view, chained to tables in windowless rooms." And—no suprise here—Amazon wasn't given an early iPad, though they plan to have a Kindle iPad app ready shortly after the April 3rd release date.

    This morning at 10:30am, Susan Howe, BOMB’s Poetry Contest judge, will be live on the Internet.

    The American Prospect explains why the National Enquirer shouldn't win a Pulitzer Prize

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  • A still from Grand Theft Auto.
    March 22, 2010

    Mar 22, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Apparently, penning manifestos is terribly fatiguing. David Shields recently dismissed novelist Myla Goldberg’s forthcoming novel, The False Friend, based solely on a short catalog description. "No offense to her; I haven’t read her work." When pressed by interviewer Edward Champion, Shields explained, “I’ve read enough of her other book. I’ve flipped pages. . . . I was like, ‘What does this have to do with the advancement of culture? You know, nothing.’" Is this an example of what Reality Hunger's catalog copy means when it boasts that "Shields takes an audacious

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  • 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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