The rage of a great American novelist
If there is a secret lurking in Cather’s correspondence, it might be this: her best writing, certainly in her letters and in much of her fiction, is driven by anger.
The strange history of antisemitism in Western culture
From antiquity to more recent times, an endless series of writers and thinkers have crafted versions and visions of Jews and Judaism that are as ugly and frightening as they are effective. David Nirenberg gives us the history.
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.
She had already won every other big prize, from the Booker’s newish international edition to the two big Canadian gongs, the Giller and the Governor-General’s Award. Yet it was still an unexpected delight when the Swedish Academy named Alice Munro, the “master of the contemporary short story,” as the newest laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature. With the possible exception of Mario Vargas Llosa, she is the most popular writer to get the Nobel in a decade—and I’d wrongly suspected that her achievement was too placid to get the jury’s attention.
I'm fairly honest about my Jane Austen snobbery. Nothing but the real, bona fide Miss Austen will do. Don't offer me Return to Pemberley, or Mr.
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:
In Jhumpa Lahiri’s new novel, her second, the terrain is familiar. The Lowland is the story of Indian immigrants to the United States, as her previous novel The Namesake was, and as the focus of many her superior short stories has been.
How publishing escaped the cruel fate of other culture industries
You hardly have to wait in line at Barnes & Noble anymore. The cashiers stare into the middle distance, while on the sales floor, space for books steadily erodes. Instead: toys, magnifying glasses, doodads for the desk. Also: Nook devices, which are supposed to represent the future. Except the Nook division is actually doing worse than the stores themselves.
Shrinking Industry? The numbers would prove otherwise.
I interviewed literary superagent Andrew Wylie over the course of several hours and two separate sit-downs in his midtown office. We only had space for 2,000 words in the magazine, but Wylie supplied a pretty much endless stream of bon mots. (To quote a tweet from Dwight Garner, the man is “incapable of uttering a boring sentence.”) So here are some notable scraps from the cutting room floor: