The NBCC finalists will be announced tonight at an event in New York City, and you’re invited! The event will feature drinks, hors d’ouevre, and (probably) a lot of reading glasses.
Our own Edan Lepucki’s whirlwind tour continues. Her debut novel California landed at number 3 on the Times Bestseller list and she celebrated with a visit to The Colbert Report. There was a bubble wrap drop. New Yorkers can see her tonight at WORD bookstore in Brooklyn and tomorrow at McNally Jackson in Manhattan. See Edan’s events page for the rest of her tour dates.
Sir Frank Kermode, widely acclaimed as Britain’s foremost literary critic, died yesterday in Cambridge at the age of 90. Guardian recalls highlights of his eminent career, including inspiring the founding of The London Review of Books, publishing books ranging from works on Spenser and Donne to last year’s Concerning EM Forster, and being an acclaimed reviewer: Philip Roth admitted that although he dislikes reading reviews, “if Frank Kermode reviewed my book I would read it.”
“Since the middle of the 20th century, the academy has conditioned us to stay grounded within texts and steer clear of writers’ biographies for insights while biographers are often timid about the kind of playful speculation that we can undertake here in Slate. Readers, myself included, tend to wonder about the sources for characters the likes of Kurtz, Sherlock Holmes, and Jay Gatsby—larger-than-life, mysterious, existing on a kind of separate plane—and in doing so we are continuing the quests of the narrators who tried first (Marlow, Watson, and Carraway).” Matthew Pearl asks: was Robert Louis Stevenson the blueprint for Conrad‘s Kurtz?