This “book trailer” released by Gary Shteyngart for his upcoming book Super Sad True Love Story has been the cause of much recent hilarity. If you have yet to see it, look for appearances by Jeffrey Eugenides, Jay McInerney and actor James Franco.
For those of you who ask, like Jacob Lambert, whether picture books are leading our children astray, the Independent posts ten of the bloodiest bedtime stories.
"I am not at all sure—convinced, certain, persuaded—that creative-writing courses are a good idea unless they prevent people from writing sentences like this one, where adjectives—useful, helpful, intensely descriptive words—are stacked upon one another as Pelion used to be piled upon Ossa." Alexander McCall Smith on the dangers of overwriting.
Freudians know that Eros and Thanatos are opposites in the human psyche. The former, the love instinct, pushes us to survive, while the latter, the death instinct, pushes us to destruction. In an essay for Bookslut, Jelena Markovic explores the importance of Thanatos in daily life, using as an example a man she knew with an “instinct for nonexistence.”
How would you feel if your novels all fell apart at the end? The writer Ann Bauer knows this feeling, and it’s painful -- she says that her readers inevitably tell her the endings of her novels are all wrong. (You could also read our own Sonya Chung's essay on literary endings.)
Middlesex author and Pulitzer Prize winner (and Year in Reading alum) Jeffrey Eugenides has a new story out in this week’s issue of The New Yorker. Titled "Find the Bad Guy," it may well be the first New Yorker story to show a character playing Words with Friends. Sample quote: “She had her arms around me, and we were rocking, real soft-like, the way Meg did after we gave her that kitten, before it died, I mean, when it was just a warm and cuddly thing instead of like it had hoof and mouth, and went south on us.”