• Untitled (Rimbaud in New York), by David Wojnarowicz, from the Fales Library.
    April 15, 2010

    Apr 15, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Why is good erotic writing so hard to pull off? It's icky, funny, or at best, boring. The Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award always gets a lot of play (see this year's winner), but Canadian novelist Russel Smith thinks it's "a mean-spirited exercise in playground mockery and repression." And speaking of bad sex: Granta, we need to talk about this cover.

    @bard @bieber #tragedy: “Romeo and Juliet” is being tweeted; meanwhile, the Library of Congress has announced it's preserving all public tweets forever.

    I like f'ing (filing, that is): New York University's Fales Library has started

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  • Deborah Eisenberg
    April 14, 2010

    Apr 14, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    The Atlantic's fiction issue is out now, among the many must-reads is a conversation with Paul Theroux on "Fiction in the Age of E-books."

    What Cheever was to commuter country, Deborah Eisenberg is to Manhattan malaise. Her underrated short stories are a veritable taxonomy of urban dysfunction. Tonight, she reads from her new volume, Collected Stories, at Chelsea's 192 Books. Cult-celebrity spotters should scan the audience for her longtime partner, Wallace Shawn, who lately has been stealing scenes in contemporary drama's most gripping panorama of unhappy uptowners, Gossip Girl.

    It is National

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  • Pulitizer Prize winner Paul Harding is trying very hard not to say "I told you so."
    April 13, 2010

    Apr 13, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    The giddy highs and woeful lows of a quarter-century of punk publishing, as seen by Jennifer Joseph of Manic D Press.

    How do you like your canon served, and how do you pick up the check? That's the central question behind Open Letter publisher Chad Post's peeved reaction to Newsweek writer Malcolm Jones's critique of the Library of America. Jones asks if the LOA has "jumped the shark," because they devote volumes to the likes of Philip K. Dick and (special Newsweek shudder of disapproval) Shirley Jackson. Does Jones think that those handsome volumes of Melville and Wharton arrive from

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  • Olga Grushin
    April 12, 2010

    Apr 12, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    In a world full of bias, bunk, and super-sized opinion, these anonymous scribes find the facts, and save face, for the world's most trusted publications.

    Uh-Oprah: The notorious Kitty Kelley has penned an unauthorized biography of Winfrey, book publishing's most sought after sales-booster, who might host a book club show on her new network.

    A report from this weekend’s AWP conference, on indie publishers' electronic-book plans: Graywolf Press will have them this fall, Coffee House Press is also taking the plunge, while Melville House reports that its first Kindle title, Every Man

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  • April 09, 2010

    Apr 9, 2010 @ 4:45:00 pm

    This weekend, book lovers should flock to downtown Brooklyn's 177 Livingston, where Triple Canopy is hosting West Coast indie publisher Publication Studio. They'll be making books by day (10-4, Saturday), and hosting a discussion and party tonight and Saturday night. Art, live music, industry speculation, and cheap drinks are secondary seductions to lure you to the real prize, the Studio's extraordinary books.

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  • Michael Hofmann
    April 09, 2010

    Apr 9, 2010 @ 6:36:00 am

    “Are You Absolutely, Positively, and Wholeheartedly Ready to Publish Your Novel?” You can find out here.

    On April 30, the PEN World Voices Festival is hosting a panel discussion called "A New World of Yesterday: Stefan Zweig’s Utopian Nostalgia." It will feature Zweig enthusiasts Klemens Renoldner, the director of the Stefan Zweig Centre at the University of Salzburg, and George Prochnik, who has written about Freud's trip to America and the importance of silence (he is now writing a book about Zweig).  Here's the kicker: the panel will also feature Michael Hofmann, whose resume includes

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  • Mark E. Smith
    April 08, 2010

    Apr 8, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    A university exhibit and new book highlight David Foster Wallace's life and work, and Scott McLemee visits the relics: "A writer who kills himself runs the risk—and he must have known this—of having his life and work turned into one long suicide note."

    Scholar Tariq Ramadan returns to the U.S. for the first time since he was barred from the country by the Bush Administration in 2004. He chats with author Ian Buruma, Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, and war reporter George Packer tonight at Cooper Union's "Secularism, Islam, and Democracy: Muslims in Europe and the West." 

    Performing songs like

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  • Hilary Mantel
    April 07, 2010

    Apr 7, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

    Starting today, the New Republic is walling off its print content, creating the "TNR Society," a place where connoisseurs can imbibe the magazine's "premium content," and enjoy "other new perks, like insider newsletters, articles, and invitations to high-profile events." As for the clubby vibe, TNR has never prided itself on being overly friendly; as editor Leon Wieseltier said after James Wood left for the New Yorker, "David [Remnick] believes that civility is a primary intellectual virtue. I believe it’s a secondary intellectual virtue, or no intellectual virtue at all.”

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  • William Bowers
    April 06, 2010

    Apr 5, 2010 @ 10:15:00 pm

    Say it ain't so, Tommaso! The New Yorker's Judith Thurman has uncovered more fraud by Italian journalist Tommaso Debenedetti, who fabricated interviews with Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, E. L. Doctorow, and a growing list of top flight authors. Debenedetti isn't yet admitting any wrongdoing, saying he’s “shocked and saddened” that his subjects deny their Obama-bashing chats.

    Jack Estes, who runs Pleasure Boat press, proclaims that publishing is alive and well. Just don't expect to sell more than four hundred copies, or make a profit: "If you are writing to be published, if that's your goal,

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