Jed Perl on Susan Sontag’s journals: “The fascination of Sontag’s prose—and its sadness—is in the extent to which she is describing herself as a person who can never really get beyond a schematic kind of thinking and feeling.”
Last year, Laura van den Berg came out with a new book, The Isle of Youth, which Nathan Huffstutter reviewed for The Millions. On the Guernica blog, Dwyer Murphy interviews van den Berg, who talks about jacket photos, her first collection and whether a writer from Florida is part of the Southern tradition. (You could also read van den Berg’s Year in Reading entry.)
Mystery author James Patterson has written a novel called The Murder of Steven King that apparently describes the eponymous author's death at the hands of a deranged fan. While King declined to comment on the book, he has in the past said of Patterson that the latter is "a terrible writer but he's very successful." And now you must read our editor-in-chief Lydia Kiesling's essay, "Everything I Know About America I Learned from Stephen King."
Recommended recommendations: Weird Fiction Review has compiled a list of notable "weird" French and Belgian writers.