Over at The New York Times, Dwight Garner remembers the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch on the centennial of her birth. With many of her books no longer in print, Murdoch’s posthumous reputation leaves much to be desired, and her ardent fans seek to rectify this. “She was the rare kind of great, buoyant, confident writer who could drive the whole machine,” Garner writes. “She was as in touch with animal instincts as intellectual ones. The scope of her vision makes you feel, when you are close to her fiction, that you have glimpsed the sublime—that you have swum very near to a whale.”
Max’s verdict in the opening round of The Morning News Tournament of Books has been posted. Which book did he pick, Gate at the Stairs or The Book of Night Women? Hop over to TMN to find out. And don’t miss the match commentary, which has some great additional discussion of both books.
Photographers who are tired of weddings should start shooting book covers. When New Directions asked to use one of Allen Frame’s photos for the cover of Robert Bolaño’s Last Evenings on Earth, he gave them access to his archive instead. Today, nine Frame photos have been used on Bolaño book covers. You can view them here or at New York City’s Gitterman Gallery.
“Long before feminism made fashion a guilty pleasure, my first experience of the sisterhood among strangers took place in a communal dressing room.” Judith Thurman writes for The New Yorker about Women in Clothes and her experiences in thrift stores and clothing swaps. For more about the connections between feminism, dressing and literature, check out Rachel Signer‘s Millions review of the same anthology.