At On the Seawall, Hamilton Cain examines the ghosts that haunt Afterparties, the beautifully crafted short story collection by the late Anthony Veasna So. “So writes with grace and panache; his characters leap off the page,” Cain says. “Walmarts, side jobs, SAT prep: these conventions open the door to better lives, mystically affirming aspirations born out of torture chambers and totalitarian purges. In this regard, Afterparties bears a kinship with an emerging generation of writers grappling with genocides in the former Yugoslavia, among them Sara Nović, Pajtim Statovci, and Saša Stanišić.”
Over at the Observer, Brent Underwood writes on how he self-published a fake book on Amazon. He sold a total of three copies, enough for him to earn the #1 Best Seller badge in several categories. Now his fake book has landed an actual book deal and is available in paperback.
At the Philadelphia Inquirer, neurologists look at cases where serious brain injury has actually brought about higher levels of creativity in artists, particularly where linguistic ability is harmed. “Language is the bully of the brain,” [one neurologist] says. “It takes up its own space and if something else gets crowded out, too bad.” (via Book Bench)
2,000 recently digitized copies of Ernest Hemingway’s papers will be transferred from Cuba to Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library – this will be the first time copies of the papers will be available to U.S. researchers. As of right now, I don’t believe there are any plans to return the urinal Hemingway took from a Key West bar to its proper location in Sloppy Joe’s.