After working on his novel Family Life for seven years, Akhil Sharma began to lose his mind. Whenever he sat down to write, he began having panic attacks, the kind that left his chest feeling “constantly bruised” for months on end. Eventually, he hit on a solution: he learned to take his mind off his novel by praying for other people.
For Guernica, Tana Wojcznick explores the belief in populism in Shakespeare’s often-misread play Coriolanus. She writes, “Coriolanus criticizes the people he claims to want to represent not simply because they are a mob, but because as a single body they are too easily swayed in their opinion, too easily flattered.” Pair with this Millions essay on rewriting Shakespeare.
“Dibs on Darcy… You can have Wickham!“SNOOTs slander Strunk & White.New York Magazine offers an exhaustive – nigh unto Talesian – look at the marriage of Gay and Nan.For Colson Whitehead, “The Coolest Writer in America is obviously [DC Comics villain] Mr. Freeze…”…while, for luminaries at the PEN gala, it’s Mr. Doctorow.Vanity Fair on “The New Yiddishists“: “They have this idea they don’t want to be pigeonholed.” Oops.Bookslut decamps for Berlin, where she will become, presumably, Buchschlampe.For “that pleasant L.A. malaise,” see this annotated reading list.Cool old covers for sci-fi chestnuts (via The Book Bench)……and hot new covers for classics (via The Second Pass).Joseph O’Neill becomes the latest beneficiary of President Obama’s literary stimulus plan.The exclamation mark is back!!!The Esquire Fiction Contest is also back. All entries must be titled “Twenty-Ten,” “An Insurrection,” or “Never, Ever Bring This Up Again.”S.E. Hinton was literary royalty at the L.A. Times book festival.