July 13, 2010

The News on Tues

I don't want to jinx it, but I must admit the last couple of days have been great in terms of my writing (after two weeks of near inactivity I can think of a few inappropriate metaphors for what this burst of activity is like). It seems everyone else is returning to life as well (following the end of the World Cup?) and so this week there's more than a bit of stuff going on, starting with some friends' news:
  • Dave Kim, writing in The Brooklyn Rail, questions why the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn bridge is so neglected, while the Brooklyn line flourishes.
  • The very same Dave Kim, writing in the very same publication, reviews Brando Skyhorse's novel The Madonnas of Echo Park.
  • Lou Perez writes about the “blood artist” Jordan Eagles in BRM, and offers some expurgated lines on his blog.
And on with the rest:
  • Harvey Pekar, of American Splendor fame, has passed away.
  • Nicole Krauss gushes over the upcoming book by David Grossman, in a blurb which drew some ridicule and prompted Salon's Laura Miller to issue a blanket warning concerning blurbs.
  • Mark Twain's unexpurgated biography is finally published; Is anyone surprised to learn he's as petty as the rest of us?
  • Christopher Hitchens reviews Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.   
  • Possibly in honor of my favorite pastime while visiting Oxford, The Guardian offers a list of the top 10 pubs in literature.
  • And for those of you still stuck in the office through the long summer days, The Daily Beast presents 6 great business novels.
  • The chair of the Society of Authors protests that e-book deals as they currently stand are "not remotely fair" to authors.
  • Sophia Lear of The New Republic reviews James Shapiro's new book on Shakespeare, Contested Will, which tries to dispel the many conspiratorial theories regarding the bard's true identity. 
  • Not sure if you want to read Gary Shteyngart's new novel Super Sad True Love Story? Maybe this book trailer will convince you:
Personally, I was much more compelled to read his work after reading the comforting interview he gave the newish website The Days of Yore, as well as the New York Magazine profile.

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