Monthly Archives: January, 2011

New Yorker fiction (Jan 31) – “Axis”

The New Yorker has made the story available online only to subscribers. Alice Munro’s story serves as a primer for a lifetime’s work of unpacking the notion of shame, that most insufferable and feverish sentiment. Who hasn’t, when caught short by life’s unpredictable events, felt burning cheeks and struggled to stammer? Though it’s more complicated […]

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Pocket Review: The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats by Hesh Kestin

The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats Hesh Kestin Dzanc Books, 2009 I fell in love with this book before I ever owned it. First of all, that title: The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats. Like some pop lyric that’s both catchy and a little weird, it lodged in my brain and would pop up at […]

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The Alphabet

This Sunday evening is short on news, but here’s a beautiful little hand-drawn video by Alessandro Novelli, an Italian multimedia designer. Each letter of the alphabet morphs into the first letter of a font name, and—accompanied by a wistful tune by French singer Fréhel—the end product is an elegant bit of calligraphy in motion. The […]

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The Overlooked and Underappreciated: Melville House’s Neversink Library

One my favorite bits from Michael Chabon’s guest stint on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog at the Atlantic was actually picked out in J. Robert Lennon’s post-mortem over at Ward Six. There, Lennon notes Chabon’s comparison of novel-writing vs. blogging—“Novelist time is reptile time; novelists tend to be ruminant and brooding, nursers of ancient grievances, second-guessers, Tuesday […]

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National Book Critics Non-Vicious Circle Awards

The National Book Critics Circle announced its 2010 NBCC Award finalists on Saturday night. It looks to be their typical pack of contenders—a combination of popular favorites and more obscure picks, a few predictable choices and a few from way out in left field. The fiction selections are nearly all books that made the majority […]

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New Yorker fiction (Jan 24) – “Naima”

The New Yorker has made the story available online only to subscribers. It seemed, at first glance, to be yet another straightforward account of a family of status and means fractured by death, with a household staffer (Naima the maid, in this case) taking up the emotional slack. Tendrils of mystery rise throughout the story […]

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Pocket Review: Nick Demske by Nick Demske

Nick Demske Nick Demske Fence Books, 2010 Nick Demske’s first book, Nick Demske—it appears just once on the spine, as on a self-titled album—may have begun as a send-up of traditional poetic form. But if so, it transcends satire by doing what the best formal poetry does, flourishing under its own constraints. The book is […]

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January 22nd, Missolonghi

January 22nd, Missolonghi by George Gordon, Lord Byron ON THIS DAY I COMPLETE MY THIRTY-SIXTH YEAR ‘Tis time this heart should be unmoved,         Since others it hath ceased to move: Yet though I cannot be beloved,                         Still let me love!    My days are in the yellow leaf;         The flowers and fruits of Love are gone; […]

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Tournament of Books Ro(o)ster

Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for: the 2011 Tournament of Books roster! I mean rooster. No, wait, I do mean roster. Books filling the coveted brackets are: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender Nox by Anne Carson Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky Room by Emma Donoghue A Visit From the Goon […]

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A Like Fire Event at Greenlight Bookstore, Brookyln

New Yorkers, save the date! On Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 I’ll be speaking with author Hannah Pittard at Greenlight Bookstore, in Brooklyn, as part of their Blogger/Author Pairings series. Her new book, The Fates Will Find Their Way, is forthcoming from Ecco Press: The story of 16-year-old Nora Lindell, who goes missing one Halloween […]

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