Category Archives: News

Good Chemistry at The Story Prize

Wednesday night’s Story Prize event was, as always, entertaining and edifying. There’s something about the chemistry of getting three very disparate short story writers together to read their work and talk about it—the distillery that goes into short fiction makes for some good, concentrated conversation among its practitioners, and three is a reasonable number for […]

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The Daphne Awards: Bookslut’s 50-Year Do-Over

1963: To borrow a line from Frank Sinatra, it was a very good year. Many fine works saw the light of day in 1963, some celebrated and some unsung—but to get to the point, a lot of good books were published. (I bet you thought you knew where I was going with that, didn’t you?) […]

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Book Award Bingo?

If I had a little more time on my hands, or at least a little more patience, this would be the time to make up some cards for Book Award Bingo. Short lists are out this week from the National Book Critics Circle, The Tournament of Books, and my perennial favorite award ceremony, The Story […]

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Heeeere Comes the Rooster: The Tournament of Books Longlist

The long list for the 2014 Tournament of Books is up; let the opining begin. Out of the 90-odd novels listed I’ve read eight, own another four, and have six or so more either on library hold or vaguely wishlisted. That means I stand a half decent shot of being able to hold forth in […]

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All’s Well That Ends Well? Thinking About the Hogarth Shakespeare Project

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Hogarth Shakespeare project. The idea was announced a few months ago, but this week, for some reason, I’ve been progressing through a veritable Kübler-Ross model of literary ambivalence. The series looked like fun at first light. In anticipation of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016, Vintage […]

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Man Booker Prize Extends a Hand to U.S. Authors

Apologies to whatever readers I may have left; I’m very much in the weeds these days and the expectations of academia are doing their best to separate me from the fun and spontaneity that are necessary for blogging. But I’m fighting the good fight. For starters, there’s been interesting news in the literary competition world […]

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Reading Orwell in Taksim Square

Possibly the single most enduring image from my own political coming of age, in my late 20s, was Tiananmen Square’s Tank Man. To someone who had idly considered herself a dissenter once upon a time—largely due, in retrospect, to sartorial choices—he was a comeuppance, the real deal. So when Erdem Gündüz staged his own solitary […]

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That’s Not Funny

For a publication that’s been walking that fine line between good and bad taste for years, Vice Magazine managed to piss off a whole bunch of people at once with the photo spread in its recent Fiction Issue. Titled “Last Words,” it staged a series of models portraying female writers who had famously committed suicide—or, […]

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Ed Man Walking

Many of you are probably familiar with my complaint that Nothing Ever Happens In My Neighborhood. True, it’s one of the few remaining affordable places in New York where you’re only a few blocks from the subway; it’s safe, spacious, and relatively quiet; and you can get to most parts of Manhattan within an hour. […]

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A Satisfying Night for The Story Prize

Was it just me, or was this year’s Story Prize event an even better show than usual? Which is not to say that it ever isn’t good—Larry Dark and his finalists never fail to be interesting and lively. And, as I’m fond of pointing out, there are only three of them, which means even the […]

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