Recommended Reading: On the “small, but noticeable, sustained, and continuous” resurgence of indie bookstores.
A while back, I linked to a contentious letter between Saul Bellow and Jack Ludwig, written not long after Bellow found out Ludwig was sleeping with his wife. Now, here’s a (somewhat) less angry piece of correspondence, sent from Philip Larkin to Barbara Pym. Sample quote: “Has anyone ever done any work on why memories are always unhappy?”
Charles Dickens turns 200 in February, which is one good explanation for two new biographies (Charles Dickens: A Life) and (Becoming Dickens) appearing just in time. But even more importantly, why is now the perfect time to read him? Here’s one hint: the man’s vast social imagination.
Forgive us for being slow on the uptake, Colorado residents, but this is the first I’m hearing of Aspen Public Radio’s First Draft radio show, which features interviews with numerous authors of wide acclaim. A casual glance at the show’s online archives, for instance, turns up the likes of Paul Harding, Kevin Barry, Laura van den Berg, Edwidge Danticat, and Ben Fountain. (h/t Edan Lepucki)
We’re surprised McSweeney’s didn’t think of this sooner: A handsome large-format volume called Art of McSweeney’s; Chris Ware and many more. There’s also a debut that’s been getting some notice, Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross. And finally, sometime Millions interviewee and interviewer Nic Brown has a new novel out: Doubles.