Why is Trollope trending? Adam Gopnik argues it’s because “Trollope is right here where we are. His subject is always politics and his material is always gossip.” Pair his piece in the New Yorker with Sarah Henary‘s look at “Trollope at 200.”
Recommended reading: Michael Booth writes for The Paris Review about the work of Danish author Aksel Sandemose and the “enduring mark on the national character” his satirical Jante Law has left.
Recently, it seemed hard to find a book not blurbed by Gary Shteyngart. He did blurb 150 books in the past decade. Yet now the author has decided to mostly retire from blurbing, he announced in The New Yorker. “Literature can and will go on without my mass blurbing. Perhaps it may even improve.” Pair with: Our own Bill Morris’s essay on whether or not to blurb.
New this week are Ron Rash’s The Cove, Brian Evenson’s Immobility, and Volume Two of Susan Sontag’s Journals (all books highlighted in our January preview). Out in paperback this week is David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, from which we recently ran a previously unpublished excerpt.
Amidst the tragic news that Iain Banks has cancer, The Telegraph responds with a headline for the ages: “Iain Banks taught me that books can be a hand grenade“
At The Rumpus, Greg Hunter talks with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, whose debut novel, Wolf in White Van, came out last month. In the past few weeks, I’ve recommended former Millions-er Emily M. Keeler’s review of the book, as well as a video interview with Darnielle.