Like the Girl Scouts, Longreads offers a tantalizing product that many people find indispensable. And, also like the Girl Scouts, they now do membership drives. To participate, sign up to be a member and donate a minimum of $3 a month or $30 a year.
Mark McGurl author of the book that got everyone talking about MFA programs, The Program Era, mounts a spirited defense against Elif Batuman’s much discussed review of the book. Among his ripostes: “One can be all for the deflation of liberal pieties without being a gleeful ignoramus about it, as though literary journalism needs its own Ann Coulter.” Zing!
Ahead of the release of Imperial Bedrooms, Vice has an interview with Bret Easton Ellis. “All my friends moved to Brooklyn. The only people I know in Manhattan are rich, and it just seems like, you know, the party was fun, but it’s kind of over for me. LA seemed to be the place to land.”
Ever since the Man Booker prize was opened up to American writers, there’s been a renewed debate about America’s contributions to the literary scene. Many people have wondered who past Bookers would have gone to had American authors been eligible. At The Guardian, a roundtable including Year in Reading alum Joshua Ferris, Curtis Sittenfeld, Edna O’Brien and Martin Amis pick American books they think would have won if they’d had the chance. You could also read Joanna Scutts on the history of the prize, or check out the most recent Booker shortlist.
Over at The New Inquiry, Alison Kinney writes on narrative opportunity, the true function of the literary orphan, and the rage of the real orphan. This moving piece by Matthew Salesses for The Millions on adoption and searching for oneself in a strange place is a nice complement.