Writing about a foreign country is always a dodgy proposition, but it seems to be especially thorny when English people and Americans take on their transatlantic brethren. Looking over two contributions to the genre by English writers — Terry Eagleton’s Across the Pond and A.A. Gill’s To America With Love — Carlin Romano concludes that neither manages to “teach us something new about ourselves.”
Why do we reread novels obsessively as children but hardly ever as adults? At The Morning News, Clay Risen discusses why rereading appeals to children so much. "It was a residual sense of wonder, left over long after I had accepted that the reality on the page and the reality beyond it are distinct." Pair with: Our essay on the pleasures and perils of rereading.
Out this week: Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace; White Fur by Jardine Libaire; The Reminders by Val Emmich; Once, in Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz; and Touch by Courtney Maum. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.
“Aspiring journalists tend to worship at the altar of Joan Didion,” writes Heather Havrilesky (who some of you may know as Polly) in the latest issue of Bookforum. The fact that so many writers look up to Didion as an example necessitates that the lit world find at least one offbeat alternative. In Havrilesky's eyes, that alternative is obvious: the late Nora Ephron was the anti-Didion, she argues.
“The suit is the most recent legal move in a years-long dispute between Burton and the broadcaster that originated the series.” New York Magazine's Vulture blog reports that LeVar Burton is being sued by WNED-TV in Buffalo, NY over the continued use of his famous Reading Rainbow tagline, “but you don't have to take my word for it.”
For those of you who ask, like Jacob Lambert, whether picture books are leading our children astray, the Independent posts ten of the bloodiest bedtime stories.