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William Trevor in The New Yorker

The Irish writer William Trevor, who contributed dozens of short stories to The New Yorker over nearly four decades, has died at the age of eighty-eight. Trevor, who was born in 1928, in County Cork, Ireland, and who began his career...Show More Summary

If Animals Have Rights, Should Robots?

Harambe, a gorilla, was described as “smart,” “curious,” “courageous,” “magnificent.” But it wasn’t until last spring that Harambe became famous, too. On May 28th, a human boy, also curious and courageous, slipped through a fence at the Cincinnati Zoo and landed in the moat along the habitat that Harambe shared with two other gorillas. Show More Summary

This Week in Fiction: Robert Coover on Our National Disdain for the “Intellectual”

Your story in this week’s issue, “The Hanging of the Schoolmarm,” is one in a series of short pieces you’ve been writing that draw on cinema tropes. Was there a particular inspiration for this one?

Chinese literature in ... Africa

In The Herald Catherine Gilbert considers: Chinese literature in Africa: Meaningful or simply ceremonial ? While the reliance on the UNESCO Index Translationum should be treated with some caution -- it shouldn't be considered definitive...Show More Summary

Booksellers that publish

In Publishers Weekly Judith Rosen reports that More Independent Booksellers Are Getting Into the Publishing Business (while amazingly managing to avoid mention of the industry standard-bearer, City Lights). Still, some interesting examples -- and also good to hear that Deep Velum's bookselling-arm is doing well (and looking to expand with additional stores !).

Daily Actions

I can’t say the results of the election took me by surprise. Worrying that a Trump win could be coming didn’t dull the horror of the reality, though. I’m trying not to give in to despair and not to let myself be distracted by the daily onslaught of his racist appointments, trammeling of civil rights, and blatant […]

Links & Reviews

- Daniel J. Leab, publisher of American Book Prices Current, editor, professor, and historian, died this week at the age of 80. As John Overholt wrote on the RBMS list, "The Leabs’ vision and commitment in establishing the Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Show More Summary

In “Moonglow,” Michael Chabon Builds a Scale Model of the Broken World

When Michael Chabon was eleven years old, he decided that the world was a broken place. “When my parents separated and divorced, it completely upended everything that I thought I knew,” Chabon said recently, on the phone from his home, in Berkeley, California. Show More Summary

A Humument - the final edition

I've long been a fan of Tom Phillips' 'treated Victorian novel', A Humument -- though I hadn't realized just how different the various editions are; at his site you can compare the pages from the original book and Phillips' first two...Show More Summary

Screwball Television review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the collection of Critical Perspectives on Gilmore Girls, edited by David Scott Diffrient with David Lavery, Screwball Television. This came out in (and, embarrassingly,...Show More Summary

NYPL Mid-Manhattan branch renovation

The much-revised renovation of the New York Public Library's centerpiece, the so-called Stephen A. Schwarzman Building -- the one with the lions out front, and the fancy reading room -- has rightly gotten the most attention in recent...Show More Summary

The Washington Post's best of the year list(s)

Best of the year lists are coming fast and furious now: see, for example, The Washington Post's Best Books of 2016, a top ten (yeah, none under review at the complete review ) plus editors' picks of notable fiction and non, and in a variety of categories (mystery, poetry, comics, etc.).

Mannequin review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ch'oe Yun's Mannequin, one of the titles in the latest batch from Dalkey Archive Press' Library of Korean Literature. Her There a Petal Silently Falls came out in English...Show More Summary

When It’s Not Our World Anymore What Will We Hear: On Empathy

We wait for their approach. We are the silence that multiplies itself in the night. We are the dark with our eyes closed. We are the hard knots pressed against… Continue reading ?

Introductory Paragraphs

While working at Powell’s Books, I had a routine. I would pull a story or essay collection from the literature shelves, read the first few paragraphs of every piece in… Continue reading ?

Ng?g? wa Thiong'o profile

In the Financial Times Neil Munshi profiles author Ng?g? wa Thiong'o. Among the things discussed: the Nobel Prize (it: "would be validating but not essential"), and his memoirs, the third volume of which, Birth of a Dream Weaver, recently came out.

'Bad Sex in Fiction' finalists

They've apparently announced the six finalists for the Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award; see, for example, Alison Flood's report, Blue Peter star beats top authors to Bad sex award nomination, in The Guardian -- and, helpfully, quotes from the shortlisted works. One of the finalists is even under review at the complete review : Erri De Luca's The Day Before Happiness.

Royal re-publications

Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej recently passed away, but as part of the posthumous tributes to him the Thai Culture Ministry: "plans to republish 17 books written or translated" by him, as reported by Dumrongkiat Mala in the Bangkok Post,...Show More Summary

Links & Reviews

- From Jason Rhody, "How to Fight for Federal Support of Cultural Research and Why It Matters."- Another round of sales from Pierre Bergé's library was held in Paris on 8–9 November, resulting in total sales of €4.8 million. A Flaubert...Show More Summary

BLP, Blood, and the ACLU

My publisher, Black Lawrence Press, has announced that for every book they sell through their website from now through the end of the year, they will donate $1 to the American Civil Liberties Union. I will match this for my own book, Blood: Stories, meaning that every copy sold through the BLP website will also send $2 to the ACLU. Show More Summary

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