Amidst all the controversy surrounding Go Set a Watchman, one question that gets left out is how realistic, exactly, the book is in its depiction of its setting. At Salon, Scott Timberg sits down with Professor Angela Thorburg, who makes a case that regardless of its literary qualities, Watchman is “a very accurate perspective of what’s going on here in the South.”
"Dibs on Darcy... You can have Wickham!"SNOOTs slander Strunk & White.New York Magazine offers an exhaustive - nigh unto Talesian - look at the marriage of Gay and Nan.For Colson Whitehead, "The Coolest Writer in America is obviously [DC Comics villain] Mr. Freeze..."...while, for luminaries at the PEN gala, it's Mr. Doctorow.Vanity Fair on "The New Yiddishists": "They have this idea they don't want to be pigeonholed." Oops.Bookslut decamps for Berlin, where she will become, presumably, Buchschlampe.For "that pleasant L.A. malaise," see this annotated reading list.Cool old covers for sci-fi chestnuts (via The Book Bench)......and hot new covers for classics (via The Second Pass).Joseph O'Neill becomes the latest beneficiary of President Obama's literary stimulus plan.The exclamation mark is back!!!The Esquire Fiction Contest is also back. All entries must be titled "Twenty-Ten," "An Insurrection," or "Never, Ever Bring This Up Again."S.E. Hinton was literary royalty at the L.A. Times book festival.
In a piece for Public Books Rebecca Steinitz reviews some recent historical novels, including The Luminaries and The Invention of Wings, and argues that the best historical fiction "plunges the reader wholly into the past, enlightening and entertaining us, while also making us reflect on our present, in history and in literature." Pair her piece with Laila Lalami's account of "How History Becomes Story."
"If I've sat on my arse all day—and it’s definitely my English arse I sit on, not an American ass—then what I most want to do come evening is sit on it some more," Geoff Dyer loves to sit. He and other authors discussed why the standing desk is overrated at The New Republic. Here's where our writers work.
Three Guys One Book takes an early look at The Late American Novel (co-edited by yours truly and featuring three Millions writers as well as a number of other literary luminaries) and sees it as a great introduction to a whole group of exciting writers. The book has been spotted on shelves in the wild, and we'll be updating news about the book here. (Readers can also follow the book's official Facebook page to keep up on events, reviews and other goodies.)
Read our own Edan Lepucki’s great review of Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids? Then you might want to read Vivian Gornick’s complementary take on the book. In Bookforum, she reads Meghan Daum’s anthology as well as Kate Bolick’s Spinster, placing the two in a broader feminist context.