“Book reviews as extensions of the book: a review = a room with a door leading to the book. Perhaps some book reviews have multiple doors, one leading to the book, another leading to another review or to an interview with the author, a blog post about the book, an advertisement on a website or in a magazine, a phone conversation, a gchat, a video. The point is their interconnectivity.”
Andrew Seal adds his thoughts on Benjamin Kunkel‘s essay on the past decade in American fiction. Seal calls out a few blind spots in Kunkel’s argument, particularly the growing “internationalism or transnationalism of the American novel.”
Jane Smiley: “I know there are writers who don’t find their work easy or pleasant, but I do.”
Lydia Davis is working on a new collection of stories, inspired in part by her recent work translating Madame Bovary.
What Mark Twain ate in the Northwest.
The World Socialist Web Site posits that Tobias Wolff‘s stories admirably connect personal lives and the larger social degradations of the Cold War era—unlike, I suppose, dirty realists and other contemporary American fiction writers, who just make up characters who get drunk and fight in motels.
“Couples is a funny thing, a bodice-ripper with a sense of entitlement.”
Benjamin Percy hasn’t been to central Oregon since he graduated from high school there in 1997, but he’s committed to setting his fiction there.
Was Herman Melville‘s poem “Monody” an elegy for Nathaniel Hawthorne or not?
Rosencrans Baldwin on his freelance writing gig for an upscale lifestyle magazine: “I did a back page humor column, and they wanted ‘luxury humor.’ I’m like, ‘What is luxury humor?’ They said, you know, jokes about chateaus and wineries and Greek islands. But it paid really well. I just thought: If I have to make knock-knock jokes about Merlot, I can do that.”