Out this week: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez; An American Marriage by Tayari Jones; House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara; Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot; Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday; Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin; The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú; Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi; and Feel Free by Zadie Smith.
For those who like their celebrity fashion with a voluptuous lashing of satire, this Fug’s for you. Check out the maybe-not-so-pretty fashion blog Go Fug Yourself‘s Grammy Awards coverage–or lack of coverage, as was (quelle suprise!) the case with Britney Spears.
Members of the Word Reference forum contemplate the etymology and meaning of the “A” in the expression, “Fuckin’ A.” Elsewhere Geoffrey Nunberg, linguist and author of Assholism: The First Sixty Years, shares his take on the ubiquitous “a-word,” which he believes originated during World War II.
What do indie rock musicians share in common with experimental writers? A great deal, and not just a distaste for both of those over-used adjectives.
“Many writers write vexed introspection, or detail-oriented reporting, or counterintuitive cultural commentary, or lifestyle journalism. But so far only Didion has done all four in perfect synthesis, a prose that, at its best, can fire on every cylinder and work on multiple fields of the imagination at once.” In support of the Kickstarter project for the documentary on Joan Didion, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, Nathan Heller looks back over Didion’s writing career, her “imaginatively seductive” nonfiction writing and her carefully constructed confessionalism in a piece for Vogue.
Caleb Crain, author of American Sympathy: Men, Friendship, and Literature in the New Nation discusses the mixed feelings that a writer is subject to when it’s time to let go of a book.