What do Talking Heads, The Smiths, Judas Priest, and Blondie have in common? They’re all featured in the playlist Picador made to accompany the paperback release of Jeffrey Eugenides’s latest novel, The Marriage Plot. The Spotify list is chock full of songs “Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell might have been listening to in the early 1980s.” You can read Eugenides’s take on the book’s genesis over here, too.
"Everywhere you turn, are you surrounded by fools, by boring nonentities, by faceless masses and foes and suckers and, indeed, jerks?" If so--as this insightful if somewhat confidence-shattering piece at Aeon suggests--the jerk may be you.
The kind folks at the PEN American Center recorded Colum McCann’s recent conversation with author and soccer ace Aleksandar Hemon. Listen to the pair discuss the Western distinction between fiction and non-fiction, and also the hypothetical merits of “watching a potato.”
Eric Bulson remarks on the expiration of the European copyright in James Joyce’s oeuvre. The “vast sea of Joyceana,” Bulson writes, “will … have the effect of flooding the market, making it even more difficult for readers to decide which edition to buy.” Meanwhile in Japan, writes Dustin Kurtz, “an expansive and anticipated group” of writers will have their work enter the public domain this year.
Over the weekend, Canada’s National Post ran a book review by our own Michael Bourne, who contributed a piece on Bright Lights, Big City this week. In the review, Michael reads Thomas King’s The Back of the Turtle, which he says reaffirms the rule that bad guys are always more interesting.
Julia Fierro discusses her new book Cutting Teeth and the anxiety of privileged Americans in the digital age with Tin House. "They should be happy, but they aren’t, and they are aware that they are not and that they should be, and this awareness makes them loathe themselves."