How did Bob Mankoff know something was wrong with Roger Ebert? Because he failed to enter The New Yorker’s weekly caption contest, of course. To honor Ebert’s memory, the magazine published his final cartoon captions.
“Here is the trouble with looking for ourselves in the writers whose works we admire, at least if we are proposing to be their biographers. For if we are in search of ourselves, or in this case our own troubled teenaged selves roaming New York, then we are apt to downplay those parts of the life that don’t correspond with that need for recognition.” Anne Boyd Rioux writes about biography and the distance, good or bad, between subject and biographer for the Los Angeles Review of Books.
While calling for the preservation of the wonderful St. Marks Bookshop, Paris Review editor Lorin Stein explains that “magazines like The Paris Review need good bookstores, where the staff knows how to spread the word about good writing, face to face, hand to hand.”
There’s a tiff going on between Ursula le Guin and Kazuo Ishiguro. After le Guin accused Ishiguro of “despising” the fantasy genre, following an interview with the Times in which he wondered aloud if his readers would be prejudiced against his latest book, Ishiguro defended himself, claiming that he is “firmly on the side of the ogres and the pixies.” You can read a full rundown in The Guardian.
NME journalist and Man and Boy author Tony Parsons has been named London’s Heathrow Airport’s second writer in residence. He will use his weeklong stay to research for his new book Departures: Seven Stories from Heathrow. It will be released in October, and the BAA plans on distributing 5,000 copies to airport customers. In 2009, Alain de Botton served as the airport’s first writer in residence, and he used his stint to pen A Week at the Airport.
“Few countries that debuted in the 1700s have been as controversial or long running (it’s into its 237th season now) as America. It may not have the staying power of perennial favorites such as China or the credibility of indie darlings such as Finland, but America has proven that it can at least make some cultural impact. It’s not the best, but hey, they can’t all be Louie.”