“There must be a cat. It must purr constantly.” Writers often have odd routines before they start writing. At McSweeney’s, John Babbott gives his outrageous demands. Pair with: Our piece on our quirky writing habitats and habits.
We’ve covered the Atlantic series By Heart a number of times before. It features notable authors writing about their favorite passages. In the latest edition, Mary-Beth Hughes picks out a paragraph from Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Blue Flower, about a poet who’s trying to cope with grief. Sample quote: “Reading Fitzgerald, I felt it was possible to write as I’d experienced dancing.”
The O.E.D., the ultimate bibliophile’s extravagance may never again appear in a new print edition, according to the New York Times. (via)”The most talked about books of the 2008 spring season,” according to European newspapers.Like Kennedy buffs hunched over stills from the Zapruder film, Bolaño enthusiasts may find themselves scrutinizing the cover design for 2666 (featured on the back flap of the galley).Wyatt Mason, one of America’s best critics, enters the blog fray. As does The New Yorker.”The idea that a university education is for everyone is a destructive myth.“
Are books on the way to becoming luxury objects? At Salon, Daniel D’Addario makes a case that they are, explaining how a new aestheticism in book design points to a future in which books function mainly as art objects. (While we’re on the subject of book design, it’s a good time to look back on our U.S.-U.K. book cover battle.)
Out this week: The Familiar, Volume 1 by Mark Z. Danielewski; The Green Road by Anne Enright; The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard; The Edge Becomes The Center by DW Gibson; The Daemon Knows by Harold Bloom; How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz; Girl at War by Sara Novic; The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld; and City by City, an essay collection edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb. For more on these books and other new titles, go read our Great 2015 Book Preview.
Infographic of the Week: Famous authors had day jobs, too. Check out this infographic from Adzuna to find out what J.M. Coetzee, George R.R. Martin, J. K. Rowling, and more did before (or while) they published novels. Our own Emily St. John Mandel writes about the struggle to balance a day job and a creative life.