Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence

When he first published his novel The Museum of Innocence in 2008, Orhan Pamuk already had plans in the works for an actual embodiment of the title institution. The book revolves around themes of obsessive love and objectification—its protagonist, Kemal, devotedly collects artifacts of a short-lived affair with a shopgirl to make up his own […]

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Null Value Returned

At this point in the year, post-Tournament of Books and pre-Orange Prize, book award season starts to feel like something of a slog. You start to wonder what, again, is the point of voting on a handful of books in order to declare one the best and slap a sticker on its cover. Fortunately, the […]

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2012 Orange Prize: A Lackluster Shortlist

The Orange Prize judges released their shortlist last night: Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan The Forgotten Waltz, Anne Enright Painter of Silence, Georgina Harding The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller State of Wonder, Ann Patchett Foreign Bodies, Cynthia Ozick As is usually the case when a shortlist is announced, I am wincing. First, the good […]

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Because “Uncon” Does Not Stand for Unconscious: The Book Blog Unconference

Hey, literary blogging types! BEA is coming up, love it or leave it alone, and with it comes the annual Book Blogger Convention—or, as it’s called now, the BEA Bloggers Conference. (Should that have a little ™ after? It sounds that way.) The original Book Blogger Con in 2010 was the brainchild of a bunch […]

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No More Prix Fixe Lunch: Justice Department Sues Apple, Publishers

OK, so this is big. Today the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division sued Apple and five of the big six major publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster—claiming they conspired to thwart Amazon by artificially raising prices on eBooks. The alleged collusion originated with the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle in 2007, and the company’s tactic […]

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Elseweb: Ellen Ullman, Jeannette Winterson, and Christopher Priest

Every time I sit down to write one of these posts, I want to be the hedgehog who can focus on one big thing, but today I cannot commit myself to a single subject and so I have to be the fox who talks about several little things. (My inability to concentrate may or may […]

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The Sense of an Ending

The Tumblr that goes by the name of The final sentence has a simple goal: “to compile the last sentence of every literary work that has ever existed on this planet.” The proprietors are, wisely, crowdsourcing this, and anyone who wishes to is welcome to submit the last line or a poem or novel (and […]

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Google eBooks Steps Away from the Indie Table

It feels like Google’s eBookstore has been around long enough to have ironed out its issues, but it was less than a year and a half ago that the new eBook app rolled out, with great promises of portability, seamlessness, and—most of all—choice. You could choose your reading device (so long as it wasn’t a […]

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Open Letters Monthly, April 2012

Against all odds it looks like we’re going to have a real live spring this year, and not just segue straight into summer. And to help celebrate what doesn’t, in fact, have to be the cruelest month after all, the April issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. Greg Waldmann reports on the return of […]

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Christopher Priest and the Dreadful Clarke Award

Last week, the 2012 shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Awards was announced. And then all hell broke loose. First, to the shortlist. Here are the six titles: Hull Zero Three, Greg Bear The End Specialist, Drew Magary (which goes by The Postmortal in the US) Embassytown, China Mieville The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Jane […]

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