What’s with the Don DeLillo pile-on? The folks at Slate post a long audio conversation about White Noise, with one participant calling the novel “flagrantly bad.” I disagree…but then, I kind of liked Point Omega, too.
You may have read Darcey Steinke’s Year in Reading piece, or perhaps one of her articles here at The Millions. Or else you might have read -- or at least heard about -- her recent novel, Sister Golden Hair. Either way, you should read this interview at The Rumpus, in which she talks about Virginia, femininity and books that have too much plot.
“Her characters sleepwalk to their certain fates through artificial pocket universes, each one seemingly constructed to satisfy the curiosity of an inhumane, omniscient narrator. Few writers have been so consistently and brilliantly unkind.” On Muriel Spark’s The Bachelors.
"I don’t start with disorder; I start with the tradition. If you’re not trained in the tradition, then deconstruction means nothing." On Derrida, Foucault, and the deconstructionist defense of the canon.
When Kurt Vonnegut wasn't writing, he was drawing. "The making of pictures is to writing what laughing gas is to the Asian influenza," he said. The New Yorker has a slideshow of 10 of his cubist sketches. You can find more of his doodles in the new book Kurt Vonnegut Drawings.
Charles McGrath at The New York Times reviews Per Petterson’s new novel I Curse the River of Time: “...at moments when a lot of American prose seems fizzy and over-rich, the sentences in I Curse the River of Time go down like an eye-watering shot of aquavit.”
We've been following the raging debate about diversity in the publishing industry, which recently re-triggered when BookExpo America released a speaker list of "29 white people and a cat" (as The Toast summed it up). The panel was rebalanced, but debate around the root issue continues: recent data indicates, for example, that while the US has become more diverse in population, the number of multicultural childrens' books has remained flat under 10 percent for two decades. Follow the continuing debate on Twitter hashtags like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #DiverseCanLit, or look to this helpful round-up of blogs and articles at BookRiot.