Edith Wharton‘s birthplace is now a Starbucks.
Jeffrey Eugenides on his novel in progress: “You have to come up with a new song for every book. For now, I’ve got the song for this book. And that’s when it becomes fun. That’s why you don’t want to finish too quickly. Because the part that’s fun comes between the discovery of the song and the singing of the last note.”
Justin Cronin: “I went to Iowa in the ’80s [and] Raymond Carver was the patron saint of all that we did, but I realized that that did not suit me particularly well. What made me want to be a writer in the first place were big, fat, epic stories that you could get yourself completely lost in.”
A film version of Ha Jin‘s Waiting may soon begin shooting in China.
The Library of America’s new blog looks at fictionalizations of the life of Elizabeth Bishop.
“What I chafe at is this sense that difficult books are most meaningful as an experience when you’ve bested them, outlasted them, pinned them to the ground by enduring them to the bitter end.”
On a not-unrelated note: Celebrating John Barth‘s The Sot-Weed Factor on its 50th anniversary. (I read it as a teenager and stopping about 200 pages in, but I don’t recall why I quit; I vividly recall loving it.)
Watching the World Cup with Aleksandar Hemon.
On the difficult task of editing Mark Twain‘s autobiography: “So we had to edit Clemens’s editing of the editor’s editing…”
A reader realizes that Tom Rachman‘s entertaining book about a floundering English-language newspaper in Rome, The Imperfectionists makes more sense if you treat it as a collection of linked stories and not, as the cover suggests, a novel.
Finally, a list that exposes the silliness of lists.