“Never mind whether the butler did it. Here’s a real mystery for you: Who wrote the first detective novel?” Paul Collins at the New York Times takes another look at the usual suspects.
Are you a guy with good taste in frames and fiction? Then come to the next I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating. CoverSpy and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe will be hosting the event on February 12 at the store. Tickets are $15 (including a free drink), but gents can get their tickets for $12 if they use the promotional code “QUEEQUEG.” To see what you’re in for, read our essay on attending the first I Like Your Glasses.
“Art isn’t a footrace. No one comes in first place. Greatness is not a universally agreed-upon value. … America isn’t one story. It’s a layered and diverse array of identities, individual and collective, forged on contradictory realities that are imbued with and denied privilege and power. Our obsession with the Great American Novel is perhaps evidence of the even greater truth that it’s impossible for one to exist. As Americans, we keep looking anyway.” Cheryl Strayed and Adam Kirsch discuss the Great American Novel in this week’s New York Times Bookends. For a slightly different take, consider the 9 novels our experts chose as the Greatest American novels, from Moby-Dick to The Godfather.