January 22, 2011
A new labor law in Romania has expanded the ranks of the self-employed; along with car valets and astrologers, witches will now be required to pay a 16 percent income tax. Is this persecution by another name, or a step toward legitimization for a long-maligned occupation? Believing the former, one group of witches responded to the news by throwing mandrake into the Danube and concocting protest in the form of a cat-poop-and-dead-dog potion.
Fairies Are Like Hamburgers?
December 09, 2010
Last Friday’s news that Groupon, the two-year-old online coupon company based in Chicago—and the “fastest growing company ever,” according to Forbes—turned down a $5 billion-plus offer from Google prompted me to take a slightly closer look at their e-mails that pop up in my inbox every morning. I have to admit that I rarely scan below the headline, but closer inspection revealed some pretty Dada literary stylings—the type of text that Yoda might produce if he was dropped into an advertising agency.
A Sad Day for Equal Pay: We Needed the Paycheck Fairness Act
November 17, 2010
Today, Senate Republicans voted down the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA). The PFA would have strengthened the Equal Pay Act (EPA), making it harder for employers to discriminate by gender when paying their employees.
Family or Beauty?
October 18, 2010
After two bouts of heavy channeling (Virginia Woolf in The Hours and Walt Whitman in Specimen Days), Michael Cunningham has found his voice again. It
Why Don't Novelists Care about Katrina?
September 10, 2010
Since 2001, fiction based on September 11 has become almost de rigueur among major novelists writing in English. In the aftermath of the attacks on the Word Trade Center, many of the most famous authors of our time have weighed in on the attacks, depicting the ways large and small in which they altered people’s lives. Some hypothesized possible motivations behind the terrorists’ actions: John Updike in Terrorist (2006) and Martin Amis in the short story “The Last Days of Muhammad Atta” (2006).
March 16, 2010
Dwight Garner’s intriguing book is a wide-ranging examination of the way publishers, advertisers, and authors have handled the unseemly necessity of l
May 07, 2007
Roberto Bola, the Chilean author whose posthumous publications are causing a stir in literary circles, is not the only author who was regarded as something of a sensation in his mother country years before becoming known in the United States. Of all the books published in the United States in 2004, less than 3 percent were translated from other languages--and English-language books make up only 30 percent of literature published worldwide.