A Russian publisher has stooped to a new low: it added “fake quotes from fake newspapers on the cover of a … novel released this summer.” That’s not all, either. Apparently the publishers are trying to bill the book as a “Swedish” crime novel even though it was actually written by a Russian under a pseudonym.
The finalists for the annual National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award are now out. The fiction list includes four books by women, three of which have already gotten some award love from the National Book Award and the Booker Prize. The other two books have received strong notices from reviewers and buzz from bloggers. Here are the finalists for fiction and non-fiction with excerpts and other links where available. As a side note, the NBCC award is particularly interesting in that it is one of the few major awards that pits American books against overseas (usually British) books. Fiction Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage (excerpt, NBA shortlisted) Marlon James, The Book of Night Women (excerpt) Michelle Huneven, Blame (excerpt, Huneven's writing at The Millions) Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (excerpt, Booker winner) Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite (excerpt, NBA shortlisted) Nonfiction Wendy Doniger, The Hindus: An Alternative History Greg Grandin, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City (excerpt, NBA shortlisted) Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (excerpt) Tracy Kidder, Strength in What Remains (excerpt) William T. Vollmann, Imperial (excerpt, a Millions Most Anticipated book) For more on the NBCC Awards and the finalists in the other categories, check out the NBCC's blog.
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"Maybe the optimists are right; maybe poetry does help you live your life. And maybe they are more right than they know, and it rounds you out for death." Andrew O'Hagan writes for The Guardian about falling in love with poetry and coming to see the poet as "a risk-taker, a miracle-maker, a moral panjandrum and a convict of the senses."
Turns out David Sedaris loves The Onion (but who doesn't, really?). Slate asked more than 30 writers including Junot Díaz, Elif Batuman, Paul Beatty, Miranda July, and Chris Kraus to recommend their favorite funny books. Might we recommend you pair this with our own Jacob Lambert's comedic interpretation of Cormac McCarthy?
In her review of Deborah Eisenberg's collection, Twilight of the Superheroes, CSM reviewer Yvonne Zipp leads with this declaration: "The Great American Novel used to be literature's giant glass mountain. Now, it seems, we've switched to Making Sense of Sept. 11 as the ultimate unattainable goal." I don't know if that's really true. Is this something American fiction writers are grappling with these days? Is this the great question of our generation? I don't know, but then again, for whatever reason, I would love to read a work of fiction that takes on 9/11 in a challenging and illuminating way - so maybe 9/11 should matter to writers. Zipp goes on to say that "none have come closer to the top" than Eisenberg does with the title story in this collection, surpassing, in this contest to make sense of 9/11, Ian McEwan, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Anita Shreve.Zipp also calls Deborah Eisenberg "the American Alice Munro," which is funny because I always thought Alice Munro was the Canadian Joyce Carol Oates.See Also:Michiko Kakutani has a review of Jay McInerney's new novel, The Good Life, which takes on 9/11.
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