Roundup: Short and Sweet

This time, Kevin J. Hayes is looking for recommendations of great American short stories, particularly ones of 21st-century vintage. Nobody in the comments has gotten around to mentioning Nelson Algren, George Saunders, Edward P. Jones, and Jhumpa Lahiri, but I’m sure that’ll be rectified soon. And though it’s probably more specific to my interest in noir than in great American literature, but I’ve long been a fan of Dashiell Hammett‘s stories, particularly “The Scorched Face.”

Keith Gessen reviews Richard Cook‘s biography of Alfred Kazin in the London Review of Books.

John Updike‘s speech on American art, “The Clarity of Things,” which I attended in D.C. (and wrote about) is now available at the New York Review of Books‘ Web site. This is a case where it really helps to pick up a hard copy of the issue, which includes reproductions of many of the works under discussion.

And, bringing this full-circle, I have a review of Leni Zumas‘ short-story collection, Farewell Navigator, in this week’s Washington City Paper. If you’re in town, Zumas reads at Politics & Prose on Saturday.

Oh, and One More Thing: That event in Lansing, Michigan, I mentioned last week? The one with Richard Ford, Thomas McGuane, and Jim Harrison? It’s not happening, uh, two days ago. It takes place July 10. So there’s still time to get on board. Apologies for the error, and thanks to the folks at the Michigan Humanities Council for bringing the mistake to my attention.

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