Over at Threepenny Review, Jess Row expounds on “blandness” in the work of Haruki Murakami, and particularly in his 2.8 lb. tome 1Q84—a book tabbed by Charles Baxter in last year’s Year in Reading as the best he’d read all year. Row contemplates the way Murakami’s characters and sentences “almost never lose this placid, observant neutrality,” or “continuous monotone.”
UK students have until December 31, 2012 to record a 60-second Very Short Film on any topic of their choosing so long as it can “fire up an audience’s curiosity.” The winner will earn £9,000 (~$14,465.70) for their education, and top submissions will be featured on the Guardian website.
“He wrote the first drafts by hand, and when that became too difficult, dictated sections of the book into a tape recorder.” Before his death in July, playwright and actor Sam Shepard wrote a novel called Spy of the First Person, which is forthcoming from Knopf in December. From our archives, a list of writers who also act.
It’s rare that a writer decides his new novel will be his last, but that’s exactly what Michael Faber has done with regards to his latest, which comes out this week. In the Times, he talks with Alexandra Alter about his decision, saying: “I felt that I had one more book in me that could be special and sincere and extraordinary, and that that would be enough.” It’s probably a good time to read our own Bill Morris on the history of literary retirements.
By happy accident, the third issue of Brooklyn-based lit mag Armchair/Shotgun (which uses an anonymous submissions system) is composed entirely of female writers. Issues are available for online purchase. EDIT: Following our update, the publication put out a notice on how the “all-female-writers issue” issue came to be.