The National Library of Scotland flooded yesterday thanks to a faulty sprinkler system. It was a close call: “Some modern books and manuscripts suffered ‘surface’ water damage, but all of the ‘important, iconic’ books were saved.”
Oops! A church in England sold some rare tomes for modest though still substantial sum to a book dealer, only to find, too late, that they are worth much, much more.
Jay Rubin, best known as Haruki Murakami’s longtime English translator, is also a novelist in his own right. Last month, he published his debut The Sun Gods, about a Japanese-American couple who meet each other on the eve of World War II. In an interview with The Rumpus, he talks about Murakami, his new book and his interest in Japanese literature. You could also readBen Dooley on Japanese cell phone novels.
Three weeks ago, Vishwas Gaitondewrote a piece for us about a house in India once owned by the family of George Orwell. Now, in the Times, Jane Perlezpays a visit to Burma, where Orwell served in the Imperial Police Force and gathered impressions for his first novel, Burmese Days.
“Mr. Walt Whitman has imagined that a certain amount of violent sympathy with the great deeds and sufferings of our soldiers, and of admiration for our national energy, together with a ready command of picturesque language, are sufficient inspiration for a poet. If this were the case, we had been a nation of poets.” A young Henry Jamesreviews Whitman’s Drum Taps.
At The Rumpus, Shawn Andrew MitchellreviewsDark Lies the Island, the new short story collection by the Irish writer Kevin Barry. Mitchell quotes a number of the book’s more interesting idioms and perceives “an impolitic decadence to how Barry couples his words.” (Related: we interviewed Barry a few weeks ago.)