Though Garth made his first appearance yesterday with his post about the Illustrated Pynchon, I’d like to formally welcome him aboard. I’ve known Garth for a long time – at least a dozen years, I think – and we’ve always talked about books, so I’m glad he decided to join us. He’ll have other reviews and dispatches up soon. Let the hazing commence.
This position has been closed. The Millions seeks an extremely part-time intern or interns to help out around the virtual office with a couple of specific tasks. This is an exciting opportunity to get to know the literary internet and engage with a readership that boasts a laundry list of influential, brilliant folks in publishing, media, and academia -- not to mention the most engaged, avid readers you’ll find anywhere. The gig: We are looking for someone who can help us with a few specific things for 1-2 hours per week: Maintaining our (already extant) prize calendar and writing very short paid prize posts (i.e., announcements of shortlists and winners of major literary prizes), averaging two posts per month Working with our social media editor to schedule gems from The Millions’ extensive back catalog and populate an archive of social media posts Scheduling a handful of weekend “Curiosities” and Tweets You are: A voracious reader with a solid knowledge of contemporary fiction A culture vulture and up to date on the literary/arts issues of the day An engaging writer both under and over 140 characters Very organized, responsive, and able to make the most of your time with not a lot of oversight More details: The Millions has no dedicated office, so this is a remote position and can be done from anywhere in the world. The internship does not come with a stipend. However, prize posts are paid, and you will have the opportunity to pitch and write pieces for the site and be paid as a staff writer. To apply: Please send the following materials to [email protected]. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Resume Three sample Curiosities. Twitter account(s) you use; any Facebook pages you’ve had the opportunity to run; your Tumblr, blog, etc. (Essentially, show us that you have experience using these tools, even if it’s just your own sparsely followed, but very entertaining Twitter account.) The deadline is Tuesday, August 22. We look forward to hearing from you! Image credit: Flickr, brizzlebornandbred
For nearly half a century, Elaine Kaufman ran a restaurant in New York City that was a haven and a clubhouse for writers of all hues -- brand names, up-and-comers, wannabes, and unknowns, the gregarious and the lonely, the elegant and the scruffy, the prolific and the blocked. The one thing they shared, other than thirst, was the desire to get out of their own skulls and into an interesting conversation. At Elaine's, with remarkable regularity, they succeeded. They found not only fellow writers, but cops, actors, gangsters, comedians, tourists, celebrities, and colorful nobodies. A young New York Times reporter named Gay Talese started going there in 1964, when the place was in its infancy. Here's how he described its allure in 1993, on the occasion of its 30th birthday: "Among other things, Elaine's is a therapy center, a halfway house for husbands between wives, a late-night talk show without cameras and microphones or commercial interruptions, a place that caters to the nocturnal needs and nourishments of New Yorkers who, as evening approaches, are not sure with whom they wish to dine, or with whom they wish to sleep after they dine, or even if they wish to sleep." The glue that held it all together was Elaine herself, an outsize personality with a sharp tongue and a sharper wit, who was usually installed opposite the bar at Table 4, dressed in her trademark round eyeglasses and flowing dresses. She was a magnet, a matchmaker, a traffic cop, a den mother, and, yes, an unlicensed head shrinker. She died on Dec. 3, 2010 at age 81, and less than six months later the restaurant, starved of the oxygen of her personality, closed. By then it had become apparent that there would never be another Elaine's -- or another Elaine. "What we liked and enjoyed about the place for more than 40 years was that it's not replaceable," Talese told me recently. "In New York you feel everything's replaceable. The reason Elaine's is irreplaceable is that when Elaine died there was no one who could make you feel that there's no place else you'd rather be. An empty place has existed in our hearts since the place closed." Several Elaine's regulars, part of the diaspora of the dismayed and bereft, started discussing ways to repay Elaine for all the encouragement she gave to writers and other creative people. They decided to form The Table 4 Writers Foundation, which has just announced that it is giving out its first batch of $2,000 grants to writers who live in New York City. "The grants are for all New York writers, not just young and struggling writers," says Jenine Lepera Izzi, a jewelry designer who met her husband at Elaine's, became a close friend of the proprietor, and is now chairwoman of the foundation. "My core belief is that I'd love to wave a wand and bring the Jack Kerouacs back. That creative energy was what New York was built on -- until the 1980s and '90s, before rents and costs got so high -- and it's pretty much been squashed." I was introduced to Elaine's -- and to Elaine -- by Peter Khoury. He and I wrote for the same North Carolina newspaper in the 1990s before moving, separately, to New York. Khoury, now the night metro editor at The Times, became a regular at Elaine's and, eventually, a close friend of Elaine. One night, as he and I walked into the restaurant together, Khoury received a hearty ovation from the crowd-- because the Times's metro desk had just broken the story that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer had a taste for high-dollar prostitutes. It was the only time in my life I've heard people applaud a journalist. No wonder Khoury -- and so many other writers -- liked going to Elaine's. "We're trying to get the word about the grants out at places where writers congregate -- writers' rooms, libraries, bookstores," says Khoury, who sits on the Table 4 Writers Foundation board of directors and has published several short stories in literary journals. "Elaine was a force of nature, a large, large personality. She instinctively knew if you needed a hug, a Heineken, or a kick in the heinie. We can't replace her, but through the grants we can give New York writers a little recognition, a little leg up. It's a way to celebrate and remember her." The foundation plans to award five $2,000 grants to New York writers, age 21 and up, at a gala in February of 2013. Entries, fiction or non-fiction, must be post-marked by Oct. 15, 2012. Image Credit: Wikipedia
Tonight's installment of the Pacific Standard Fiction Series here in Brooklyn features Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision and Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances. Books will be for sale on-site, and drink specials will be chosen by dartboard. The reading starts at 7 p.m. at Pacific Standard. Hope to see you there!
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Note: Irrelevant comments pitching books or other products will be deleted immediately. If you would like to promote your book, website, or other product, please consider advertising with us. You can do so through BlogAds at this link or you can email Max with questions.I like using Blogger as the platform for this blog, but I've found that the interface for commenting is frustratingly confusing for many commenters. Up until now, I was resigned to the fact that some of my potential commenters were giving up, but then I saw a helpful post at the Written Nerd where Jessica explains to her readers how to use Blogger's clunky commenting system. Luckily, Jessica was nice enough to let me borrow the wording from her post.So, for anyone having trouble commenting, follow these steps:1. Click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of the post on which you wish to comment. From there you can read comments that other people have left and/or click on "Post a Comment" at the bottom to leave your own. A new window will pop up (disable your pop-up blocker if you need to.)2. In this new window, type in your comment in the box under "Leave your comment."3a. If you have a Blogger or other supported user account, click on the "sign-in" bubble to use it. Type in your user name and password in the blanks that appear.3b. If you want to comment using your name (or any name) but don't want to use, or don't have, a Blogger account, click on the bubble next to "Nickname." Type the name you wish to use in the blank marked "Nickname." The "URL" blank is optional, but you can use it to include the address of any website you want people to link to when they click on your name in the comments.3c. If you want to post your comment anonymously, click on the bubble next to "Anonymous." You will not be asked for any identification info.4. Click "Preview" if you want to see what your comment will look like. You can edit the writing in the "Leave your comment" box to modify your comment.5. Click the blue "Publish Your Comment" button.Congrats! You've left a comment at The Millions!Note: If you are not signed in with your Blogger account, you will likely also need to fill in the "word verification" field to make sure that you aren't a robot or a spammer. Simply type in the characters you see in the picture above the pace.
Mrs. Millions and I will be departing tomorrow for a trip to Greece and Turkey. Of all the many things to be excited about, we are most excited about the food. And in Turkey, we will have a local tour guide in the form of Emre, our longtime Turkish correspondent here at The Millions.We're trying to travel very light, just a backpack each, and that doesn't leave much room for reading material. We allowed ourselves to each select a paperback (and a magazine or two) and presumably we will swap the paperbacks if we finish them before our trip is over. Mrs. Millions is bringing The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, and I have decided to read Maqroll for a second time. I'm also bringing the latest New Yorker, which is, regrettably, the Style Issue.While I'm gone, the rest of the gang at The Millions will be taking over. See you soon!
If you're arriving here after hearing my appearance on Weekend Edition Sunday, welcome! Just to give you a little background, I started The Millions in early 2003 when I was a bookseller at an independent bookstore in Los Angeles. I've since moved on from there, but the blog has stuck around. We now have seven contributors besides me, and we write nearly daily about books and other cultural topics.If you want to look around, a great place to start is the notable posts on the right-hand sidebar. You can get to the archives by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.Finally, in case you want to get more info on the books I mentioned during the segment, here are some links to the books on Amazon (I haven't heard the segment yet, so not sure if they edited any of these out):Ragtime by E.L. DoctorowPastoralia by George SaundersEast of Eden by John SteinbeckOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia MarquezThe Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro MutisThanks for checking out The Millions!