“On the surface ‘The Lady with the Little Dog’ is a love story,” writes Elliott Holt in a blog post for The Missouri Review. “[It’s] a romantic one at that, but it’s also about the tension between the person we show the world and the one we keep to ourselves. The older I get, the more the story resonates with me.”
“It’s not often that I find myself brandishing my copy and yelling, ‘This book.This book! at my husband, but I had that pleasant, awed, envy-inducing reaction.” We obviously love a good end-of-year reading roundup, and BOMB Magazine has “Looking Back on 2016” with entries from Jonathan Lethem, Will Chancellor, and other artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers.
Lolita has been, for decades, a great inspiration to cover designers, and all those great covers inspired architect John Bertram to hold his own cover design contest to see who could best re-imagine Nabokov’s classic. The resulting competition has now inspired a book, coming in August, with a cover by designers Sulki & Min that references a letter Nabokov sent to his American publisher, Walter J. Minton of Putnam, in April 1959 about the cover design for Lolita. “I want pure colors, melting clouds, accurately drawn details, a sunburst above a receding road with the light reflected in furrows and ruts, after rain. And no girls. If we cannot find that kind of artistic and virile painting, let us settle for an immaculate white jacket (rough texture paper instead of the usual glossy kind), with LOLITA in bold black lettering.” More: An interview with Bertram.
According to The Guardian, “researchers in Australia have developed a computer program which writes its own fables, complete with moral.” No word yet on whether they’re any good.
New this week: The Good Lord Bird by James McBride; Night Film by Marisha Pessl; The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer; The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally; and Holy Orders, a new Quirke novel by John Banville/Benjamin Black. For more on these and other upcoming releases, check out our Great 2013 Second-Half Book Preview.