Last week, I relayed the news that The Circle, the upcoming novel by Dave Eggers, casts its eye on the cultish workings of a Google-esque company in California. But how Google-esque will the company be, exactly? Nick Clark takes a look at the evidence.
Martin Connelly takes a look at The International Cryptozoology Museum, which is run by Loren Coleman up in Portland, Maine. If you can’t make the pilgrimage yourself (or if you’re just put off by chupacabra taxidermy), you can also get a feel for the study of far out beasts by reading Coleman’s “genre-defining” book, Cryptozoology A to Z.
Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt by Kristin Hersh is a downright mesmerizing elegy to the eclectic singer-songwriter. Part idiot-savant, part deliberate curmudgeon , Vic Chesnutt (who Rolling Stone has called one of the greatest songwriters of all time) was notoriously difficult to spend a lot of time around. Hersh stopped by Electric Literature for an interview about the book and about losing her dear friend Vic. Bonus: for anyone unfamiliar with Chesnutt’s work, this video will get you close.
Matthew Salesses talks about moral fiction and how to address prejudice in writing at Electric Lit. A piece of his essay: "The writing of fiction cannot treat marginalized characters as vessels, cannot let the plot play out the racism of under-enlightened protagonists. Perhaps the ultimate conclusion is that one cannot write without prejudice unless one understands that one has prejudice." Pair with his recent essay at The Millions on plot and the inciting incident.
Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland that “There’s no ‘there’ there.” If the latest novel by Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue, is any indication, not everyone agrees -- the author set the book in the Oakland of 2004. At The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog, Matt Feeney delves into the book's racial politics.