“He is a man who has written a lot about politics and knows something about expectation-setting — set the bar low, and it’ll be easy to top it.” The Awl rounds up its review series of online Masterclasses with such esteemed personages as Aaron Sorkin, James Patterson, and Werner Herzog. See also: our own Sonya Chung‘s review of Sorkin’s film The Social Network.
“Marlon James’s management of the voice and the paragraph isn’t what you’d call unpretty, and he’s good at having it both ways on a larger scale too. Reptilian black-ops masterminds out of a Robert Stone novel as well as bumbling CIA bureaucrats, baroque deaths in the bush and casual killings by the side of the road, historical and magic realism, sex and violence and a more ‘sophisticated kind of art’: the guy’s got it all.” This review of James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings from The London Review of Books is well worth the read.
Turns out David Sedaris loves The Onion (but who doesn't, really?). Slate asked more than 30 writers including Junot Díaz, Elif Batuman, Paul Beatty, Miranda July, and Chris Kraus to recommend their favorite funny books. Might we recommend you pair this with our own Jacob Lambert's comedic interpretation of Cormac McCarthy?
Boldtype offers up a list of "10 Awesome Books to Give to Your Non-Reading Friends," i.e. eye-candy gift books.
NME journalist and Man and Boy author Tony Parsons has been named London's Heathrow Airport's second writer in residence. He will use his weeklong stay to research for his new book Departures: Seven Stories from Heathrow. It will be released in October, and the BAA plans on distributing 5,000 copies to airport customers. In 2009, Alain de Botton served as the airport's first writer in residence, and he used his stint to pen A Week at the Airport.
Here are the first lines of the new David Mitchell novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, forthcoming in July: "'Miss Kawasemi?' Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon. 'Can you hear me?' In the rice paddy beyond the garden, a cacophony of frogs detonates. Orito dabs the concubine's sweat-drenched face with a damp cloth."