Narrative Magazine announces its Fall 2009 Story Contest, open to fiction and non-fiction writers. Submission deadline November 30th.
Caitlin Flanagan's long Atlantic piece on Joan Didion has sparked a lot of conversation. Among the article's contentious lines: "to really love Joan Didion ... you have to be female."
"It has been said of the Beatles that there is not a clunker of a song in their oeuvre because they simply never let the bad stuff get released. The same might be said of Nabokov—for 'Camera Obscura' shows that he was indeed capable of writing a second-rate novel. (He knew it, and rewrote it.)" John Colapinto looks at Nabokov's retranslation of Laughter in the Dark for The New Yorker.
"Nobody there but dirty old men who spit tobacco juice and try to look up your skirt." The city square is one of the biggest architectural differences between the United States and Europe. Over at The Daily Beast, George Packer takes a look at plazas/piazzas and makes a case for why America needs more.