Out this week: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (who Angela Qian wrote about for The Millions in September); We Are Water by Wally Lamb; Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins; Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books by Claudia Roth Pierpont; and The Eternal Wonder, a recently discovered novel by Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck. For more on these and other new books, check out our Great Second-half 2013 Book Preview.
Google is set to release a set of computerized glasses later this year. The glasses will come equipped with a camera that captures what you see, a projector that reflects data onto a screen between the lenses and your eyes, and a sensor that tracks the movement of your eyes which will in be the method for navigating the device. Basically, we’re all about to become Steve Mann, though according to the Toronto Star the world’s first cyborg has yet to offer any comment.
“If you read through all the citations, you’ll start to detect certain patterns. Any aspirant Nobel Prize–winner should take note—these may hold the key to victory.” The Paris Review has read through all of the Nobel Prize-winner citations and came to a couple of conclusions, such as “you should be great… but it also helps if you’re epic. Oh, and fresh!” Pair their piece with our own overview of newest laureate Patrick Modiano’s work, and The New Yorker‘s look into the translation of Nobel Prize-winning authors.
“Does handwriting matter?” That’s the question some researchers are working to answer and that Maria Konnikova tackles in a piece for The New York Times. The article ends by suggesting that “with handwriting, the very act of putting it down forces you to focus on what’s important… maybe it helps you think better,” which is doubtlessly encouraging to every writer who works on their drafts in longhand.
New this week are Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Dream of the Celt, Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse by Denis Johnson, Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays by Siri Hustvedt, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and Team Cul de Sac, a book done in tribute to the great comic done by Richard Thompson and to raise money for research into Parkinson’s, which Thompson was diagnosed with in 2009.
Robert Perišic’s Our Man in Iraq made it onto the first installment of our Great 2013 Book Preview. A few weeks ago, Perišic sat down for an interview with John Feffer about ongoing changes in the author’s native Croatia, which recently acceded to the EU as its 28th member state.
My essay on Zadie Foster Franzenides and the current state of literary aesthetics is in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine.