Denis Dutton, founding editor of the esteemed web digest Arts & Letters Daily, passed away today at age 66 after a battle with prostate cancer. We echo the sentiments of Three Quarks Daily that Dutton’s site “set the gold standard that we have aspired to match in our own curating of slightly different intellectual content on the web.”
The Guardian reports that Kinokuniya, a Japanese book chain, has bought 90 percent of the print run of Haruki Murakami’s latest essay collection, Novelist As a Vocation, to be released September 10th in Japan. The company hopes to bring more customers back into bookstores. Need more Murakami? Read our review of The Strange Library.
I can’t recommend John Jeremiah Sullivan‘s 7,000-word article on The Pale King highly enough – not because he gets everything right, but because it’s what long-form writing about books should look like: passionate, lucid, wide-ranging, and awfully fun to read. I salute GQ for running it, and hope to see more literary coverage there in the future.
Although children’s earliest memories often don’t stay with them, as this new article on Aeon describes, babies form emotional connections and intellectual attitudes that last the rest of their lives. So read to your newborn, according to Jason Boog (Born Reading), even if she doesn’t yet know the words.
Ever since the Man Booker prize was opened up to American writers, there’s been a renewed debate about America’s contributions to the literary scene. Many people have wondered who past Bookers would have gone to had American authors been eligible. At The Guardian, a roundtable including Year in Reading alum Joshua Ferris, Curtis Sittenfeld, Edna O’Brien and Martin Amis pick American books they think would have won if they’d had the chance. You could also read Joanna Scutts on the history of the prize, or check out the most recent Booker shortlist.
While we’re on the subject of Harry Potter, I have some bad news. According to J.K. Rowling herself, Cursed Child is likely the last we’ll ever see of the boy (now middle-aged) wizard: “He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know … So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”