Test your knowledge of famous settings and / or fantasize about living in a “secluded picturesque manor with history” or a “palatial long island home” perfect for parties: “Classic Houses in Literature Go on the Imaginary Real Estate Market – a Quiz.”
“We don’t have to look at Iraq for an analogue to Missouri,” writes Elif Batuman. “We can look instead at Missouri, or elsewhere in the United States.” Indeed for many ordinary Americans, as Jabari Asim echoes in his poem inspired by the recent events in Ferguson, “It’s more than time we had that talk / about what to say and where to walk, / how to act and how to strive, / how to be upright and stay alive.”
A new laureateship award worth €150,000 was created by Ireland's Arts Council in conjunction with University College Dublin and New York University. The award will be given to "an outstanding Irish writer of fiction" with hopes that the author will "promote [Irish] literature around the world" and "inspire the public to engage with the best Irish fiction." The first appointment will be made in 2014.
My essay on Zadie Foster Franzenides and the current state of literary aesthetics is in this weekend's New York Times Magazine.
Recommended Reading: This review, though it is really much more than that, of Daniel Williams' Defenders of the Unborn. Williams' book takes a detailed look at the history of anti-abortion activism before Roe v. Wade, but more generally it seeks to complicate our entire definition of activism in the context of the pro-life/pro-choice debate.
“'I put lipstick on a pig,' he said. 'I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is' ... If he were writing The Art of the Deal today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, 'The Sociopath.'" Donald Trump's ghostwriter from The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, expresses some remorse and tells what it was like to write Trump.