Out this week: All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung; Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan; Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III; Impossible Owls by Brian Phillips; Scribe by Alyson Hagy; A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande; What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky; and Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister.
Recommended Reading: Dean Young’s poem “Why I Haven’t ‘Outgrown Surrealism,’ No Matter What That Moron Reviewer Wrote” for Plume.
“I’ve never actually read the books that I’ve blurbed.” – Nick Tosches in BookforumThat terrific Kenneth Tynan piece on Johnny Carson that Tingle was looking for.Want to bone up on philosophy, but can’t quite find the time? Try Squashed Philosophers.The CS Monitor gives capsule reviews of the NBCC fiction finalists, in case you didn’t get to any of them.O, Brother, Where Art Thou? Oh Right, Everywhere: Discarded titles for George Orwell’s 1984 at McSweeney’s (via Kottke).David Sedaris’ recommended reading list
Johnny Depp’s latest film, Black Mass, which casts the star as Whitey Bulger, hit theaters on September 18th. At Publishers Weekly, author T. J. English argues that Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him is necessary to the canon of literature on Bulger, even if it’s the 16th book about the mobster.
Helen Vendler is one of those rare scholar-writers who doesn’t adhere to a particular school of theory. In her new book of essays, she explains her view of criticism as distinct from both philosophy and scholarship, as a form of learning that’s inherently “unsystematic and idiosyncratic.” In Open Letters Monthly, Jack Hanson reads through the book. You could also read Jonathan Farmer on Rita Dove’s letter to Vendler.
Many aspiring writers wind up in publishing jobs or teaching posts. Some view the career choice as a happy union between their creative interests and their vocational qualifications. T. S. Eliot was not so. In an article for The Rumpus, Lisa Levy notes that the poet continued “to work at the bank even after his poems [became] successful,” and that the poet found the work “more conducive to writing poetry and criticism than taking a more literary job might be.”