Chloe Schama

Story Editor

Too distracted by technology, lack of sleep, or your kids to focus on anything longer than a list? Here’s one of Lydia Davis’s stories, “Bloomington,” from her latest collection, Can’t and Won’t, in its entirety. Feel free to tweet it when you’re done. Now that I have been here for a little while, I can say with confidence that I have never been here before.(107 characters, counting spaces) Or another, “The Results of One Statistical Study,” that’s even shorter:

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Take the American gothic currents of Joyce Carol Oates; instill the pithy black humor of Sam Lipsyte and the absurdist instincts of George Saunders—minus the sci-fi, futuristic flourishes; add a dose of domestic macabre a la A.M. Homes; invite the open-ended poetry of Lydia Davis but mix it with the sociological precision of Jonathan Franzen, and you have something like a recipe for a Lorrie Moore story.

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Silence Is Now a Luxury Product

A report on the quiet-car-ization of America

America has become a country of quiet cars

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The knock on Richard Powers is that his novels don’t sustain the weight of their ambitions. That's not entirely true in his latest. 

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Today is Museum Selfie Day, in case you weren’t aware, a day in which many of the major museums of the world are encouraging their patrons not to actually look at the art, but to pose in front of it—then to share their oh-so-artful self portraits on Twitter with the hashtag #MuseumSelfie. 

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Mid-way through reading Dirty Love, I tore the book apart. I don’t mean figuratively, although I was reading at a clip; I ripped its pages out. I didn’t mean any insult: I just couldn’t squeeze the entire manuscript into my over-packed purse, and I was desperate to finish what I found to be the most electrifying portion of the book on my way to work: A story about a would-be poet-cum-bartender who cheats on his wife just before she goes into labor prematurely, and then is confronted with the horrifyingly insensitive nature of his behavior.

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Alice Munro is the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for literature. Here are a couple of excerpts from The New Republic's writings about Munro:Chloe Schama on Dear Life, 2012:

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Among the duties that new Back of the Book assistant editors find on their roster when they first arrive at The New Republic: Go to New York—particularly, the penthouse of a West Village apartment building. It was there that Stanley Kauffmann lived for many years, and where he would welcome, every few years or so, the culture pages’ newest recruit, serving slightly warm apple juice and candied pecans, or, if the hour had passed a certain, sliding point in the afternoon, white wine. These appetizers were nothing, though, compared to what he had to offer in conversation.

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Flypaper

The Most Compelling Details From My Last Two Weeks of Reading

*/ Think we have a yogurt craze? Americans eat about 13 pounds of yogurt per person per year. The French eat 72. — The New York Times In at least 13 states, impotence is grounds for divorce. — Glamour A favorite toast of Roger Straus—impresario of the publishing house Farrar, Straus and Giroux—was: — New York A fabled cure for rabies is to rub the hair of the dog that bit you into the wound—hence the phrase describing drinking to ameliorate your hangover.

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