Curiosities

Paranoid Much?

At The Awl, Brian O’Neill makes the case that following the events of September 11th, America finally caught up to the mindset of Thomas Pynchon.
Curiosities

All Our Kids

Margaret Atwood wants to edit the Canadian national anthem. The MaddAddam author and Year in Reading alum thinks a phrase in the current lyrics -- “true patriot love in all thy sons’ command” -- needs to be changed to something more gender-neutral.
Curiosities

Thoughts on Someone

Recommended Reading: Janet Maslin on Alice McDermott's new novel.
Curiosities

Boom Boom Boom

Fellow children of the ‘90s will remember how much that decade was a kind of Golden Age for disaster movies. Then as now, explosive blockbusters like Independence Day, Twister and Dante's Peak satisfied a collective appetite for wide-scale destruction and mayhem. At The Morning News, Ethan Gilsdorf considers what the genre’s evolution has to say about us.
Curiosities

Romeo and Juliet Redux

Considering the sheer volume of references in the cultural air, you probably believe you have a pretty good grasp of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. To this I say, hold up there, Straw Man Reader -- Ye Olde Romance That Could has more to it than you think.
Curiosities

Tuesday New Release Day: Eggers, Dubus, Freeman, Boyd, Zoller-Seitz

New this week: The Circle by Dave Eggers; Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III; How to Read a Novelist by former Granta editor John Freeman; Solo, a new James Bond novel by William Boyd; and “the first in-depth overview of Wes Anderson’s filmography” by the New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller-Seitz.
Curiosities

Meditations on Meditations in Green

Recommended Reading: Nathaniel Rich discusses Stephen Wright’s Meditations in Green, which he says is remarkable because “it convinces you that the war never ended.” Indeed, Rich writes, the author’s debut novel “suggests that Vietnam at some point transcended the Indochina peninsula and became a mental condition, a state of being not unlike certain forms of insanity, that has become encrypted in our genetic code.”
Curiosities

Kerouac Returns to the Big Screen

This November, moviegoers can catch an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur (trailer here). Do you think it looks better than last year’s cinematic version of On the Road (trailer here)?
Curiosities

That’s a Mouthful

A Hawaiian woman named Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has won her battle against the state’s government computer systems and will now be able to fit her name – all 36 letters and 19 syllables of it – onto her driver’s license and ID card. Previously she’d been using a truncated version on her official documentation.
Curiosities

Matt Kish on his Heart of Darkness Illustrations

In November, Matt Kish will write a series of guest posts for Tin House’s Open Bar Blog. He’ll be “exploring some of the ideas and processes behind five of [his] Heart of Darkness illustrations.” Over on his personal blog, however, he’s asking for readers to help him select which five pieces he should discuss. Kish, who has previously illustrated the pages of Moby Dick, was recently mentioned in our Great Second-Half 2013 Book Preview.