By the age of twenty-one, Eugene O’Neill had dropped out of Princeton, fathered a child and caught syphilis on a trip through South America. He was, in his own words, “the Irish luck kid,” blessed in a strange way with misfortune. Yet he went on to win a Pulitzer eleven years later. How did he do it? In the LRB, John Lahr reads a new biography of the playwright.
American readers can now get their hands on the latest from Martin Amis, Lionel Asbo: State of England. Also out this week: The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle, Paul Auster’s memoir Winter Journal, Dan Fesperman’s spy novel The Double Game, and a pair of debuts, Hanna Pylväinen’s We Sinners and Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist.
Sundog Lit is putting together their first theme issue, and it’s going to be all about “Games” of all types: video games, baseball games, Game of Thrones, etc… Fittingly, their guest editor for this issue will be Level End author Brian Oliu. Submission deadline is June 1st. If you need a little inspiration, you should check out Adrienne LaFrance’s take on MoMA’s video games exhibit.
The LBC has named its next pick. It’s a fantastic, epic, funny book. Visit the blog for all the details.Forbes rounds up the most expensive books sold at auction in 2006. The top ten include five atlases, but according to the slide show that accompanies the story, a Shakespeare First Folio brought in the most: $5.1 million.Darby’s blog turns two and he cleverly uses this fact as an excuse to link to some Swedish librarians.”Which f**king road would you live on?“So sad. A spelling bee training book with typos.
After his death, fans of David Foster Wallace canonized him as a prophet, according him a degree of benevolence shared by almost no one in American letters. In New York Magazine, Christian Lorentzen argues that Wallace himself worried about this happening, and says he’d “probably be the last person to argue for his sainthood.” His essay pairs nicely with Jonathan Russell Clark on The David Foster Wallace Reader.
In a head-scratching piece of writing for the New Statesman, Dave Eggers (whose novel The Circle just cracked our Top Ten) reflects on a cross-country drive he took from Jeddah to Riyadh. The journey, and in particular a comment made by his chauffeur, caused Eggers to ponder the significance of his nationality, his ability to perceive danger, and the intentions of others. The short of it: Some people from other countries are nice. Who knew?