Ever got the feeling that literary life used to be a lot more glamorous? Well, thanks to this review, we now have some proof that it was. In The Times Literary Supplement, a review of Antonia Fraser’s new memoir, which includes her memories of meeting the Queen and dancing with T.S. Eliot. (h/t Arts and Letters Daily)
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the new books and culture website The Nervous Breakdown. They’ve already got a great interview with Millions favorite Dan Chaon, as well as some interesting essays that I’m looking forward to digging into. I also like their “self-interview” series–where writers ask, and answer, their own questions.
Post-40 Bloomer Daniel Orozco won Stanford’s William Saroyan International Prize for Writing this week. His story collection, Orientation, beat out a murderer’s row of adversaries including Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station and Miroslav Penkov’s East of the West: A Country in Stories. Check out excerpts or stories from all three writers here, here, and here, respectively.
Since 2010, Russian publishing professionals estimate that “as many as 20% of [all] Russian book stores have closed.” Each year, they fear, the number of “dedicated readers in Russia declines by 2%.” To remedy these trends, the Russian government has recently approved a $100 million stimulus package for the nation’s book industry – running the gamut from investment in new bookstores, to tax incentives for small presses, and also to more international book fairs – to be dispersed through 2018. Recently, Emily Parker noted in The New York Times that Russia’s literary problems might be blamed on its lack of “good protest literature.”
So much to hate: The Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2008Bookshelves gone wild: Plant your tree of knowledge next to your literary playground.At the Vroman’s Bookstore blog, Patrick talks about why “books need more time,” and looks at how one book is getting more than the one week it was given.n+1 launches N1BR, the book review supplement to n+1. One of the editors is Nikil Saval, who appeared in our Year in Reading series in 2008.The earliest celluloid film (from 1888) can be found – where else – on YouTube. (From The List Universe’s “Top 10 Incredible Early Firsts In Photography“)As if it wasn’t already hard enough to get up for work in the morning: Our world may be a giant hologramJack Shafer responds to David Carr’s call to “invent an iTunes for News.”
“To be able to sing under that kind of oppression I think, in a lot of ways, is the very essence of survival, of a people, of the ability to have to the hope to make something beautiful amongst so much wretchedness.” Tyehimba Jess, author of the fantastic new collection of poetry Olio, is interviewed over at The Literary Hub.