Virginia Quarterly Review looks back on its early history with Wallace Stegner, including some manuscript scans.
Speaking of: Stegner’s daughter-in-law, novelist Lynn Stegner, is working on an anthology about what it means to grow up in the West with another writer, Russell Rowland. You say you haven’t read anything by Rowland? Don’t be so sure.
Peter Osnos visits a Beijing bookstore and looks approvingly on the many Western books available to him. “The neuralgic issue of censorship is confined to a substantial but specific range of books both in Chinese and from abroad,” Osnos writes. He and Ha Jin need to have a chat.
Mark Twain‘s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, has announced that 2010 will be the “Year of Twain,” marking the centennial of his death and 175th birthday. A dedicated Web site will cover all the exciting events happening next year; for now, you’ll have to settle for the Oak Ridge Boys, who hit town August 22.
Litchfield, New Hampshire, is still squabbling over how to put what stories on its reading lists after parents pitched a fit over the likes of David Sedaris and Laura Lippman appearing in the curriculum. “The stories are not appropriate ‘for developing minds that are very impressionable,’” a parent tells the Nashua Telegraph. One can only imagine the impression that high-school students get from watching their parents wring their hands in public.
Elsewhere in New Hampshire, parents are concerned about John Irving‘s A Prayer for Owen Meany. So, maybe just be careful about bringing books into New Hampshire for a while.
“I see from this paper’s letters section that various well-meaning but clueless liberals are upset by my recent assertion that Ernest Hemingway was on the wrong side in the Spanish Civil War.”
Somebody posing as Jay Murray Siskind, a professor in Don DeLillo‘s White Noise, wrote an essay about David Foster Wallace for the journal Modernism/Modernity. The joke was so funny that pretty much nobody got it for five years.
Wired‘s interactive map to Thomas Pynchon‘s Los Angeles has gone global.
And Andrew Sean Greer figures you can stop asking him about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button any time now.