On this day 124 years ago Raymond Chandler, hardest of the hard-boiled, was born. To celebrate the father of Philip Marlowe see these letters Chandler wrote to some of his contemporaries, listen to Chandler’s interview with Ian Fleming, and enjoy a couple classic Chandlerisms. Most importantly, read “The Simple Art of Murder,” the greatest essay about the mystery novel ever written.
The late Colonel Harland Sanders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken notoriety) is the author of a newly unearthed manuscript “chock full of homespun anecdotes and life lessons from Sanders, who struck it rich late in life. It also includes a heaping helping of his favorite personal recipes.” The manuscript will be published online within the next year.
Amidst the tragic news that Iain Banks has cancer, The Telegraph responds with a headline for the ages: “Iain Banks taught me that books can be a hand grenade“
“In the first few days of ‘publicly’ reading the book, I only received quizzical stares and saw people putting glasses on or slouching in their seats to better read the cover. It just so happened that it wasn’t until Black History Month that those silent stares turned into vocal encounters and my light commuter reading turned into a bit of a social experiment.” Recommended reading: Lauren A. White’s experience of reading How To Be Black in public.
The Naipaul Question, as Morgan Meis calls it, is simple: is V.S. Naipaul too offensive to be taken seriously? His recent biography includes scenes of abuse and moments of straightforward racism. But Meis thinks the issue is more complicated than whether Naipaul is a monster — the author is, in his phrasing, too “protean” to be pinned down.