Do writers owe their readers engagement on social media? “Our sole obligation to readers is to write the best books that we possibly can,” our own Emily St. John Mandel told The Guardian. Pair with our piece on the best of literary Twitter.
"Morality... is a slippery slope and nowhere more, perhaps, than in regard to art, to literature, which begins as the expression of a single heart, a single mind. That it becomes more than that — connective, the fiber of a conversation between writer and reader, and between both of them and the world — is not just the point but the miracle... To frame this miracle in moral terms is to misread what art extends to us: a way of joining, for a moment only, across the void." In an article for the LA Times, David L. Ulin considers the implications of the George V. Hunt, SJ Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts and Letters, which will award $25,000 to a writer “of sound moral character and reputation [who] must not have published works that are manifestly atheistically or morally offensive.”
"Rockslide Sky," an exhibition of art inspired by Roberto Bolaño's story "Gomez Palacio," has just completed its run at Fordham University's Center Gallery/Lipani Gallery…but a slideshow lives on in cyberspace. (I like feel this one would have made a nice cover for Last Evenings on Earth, but Bolañophiles may want to click through all 18.)
One of the biggest literary releases of the year is out today, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. Read the book's opening here. Another literary heavy hitter out today is The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst. One of Albanian writer Ismail Kadare's masterpieces, The Palace of Dreams, is now back in print in English, and Blake Butler's memoir Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia is now on shelves.