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Depth on the Dance Floor: The Music of DJ Sprinkles

In 1970, when he was twenty-one, Gil Scott-Heron released his début album, “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox.” The opening track, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” was an instant classic, but the album also featured a song that many...Show More Summary

New Short Story Collections: Justin Taylor, Paula Bomer and Hilary Mantel

I used to read short stories all the time. At one point, I was more into short stories than novels. Well, why not? This was back when Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, Tama Janowitz, Lorrie Moore, John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, Alice Munro and William Trevor were all putting out stuff on a regular basis. Show More Summary


As a college student, B. F. Skinner gave little thought to psychology. He had hoped to become a novelist, and majored in English. Then, in 1927, when he was twenty-three, he read an essay by H. G. Wells about the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. Show More Summary

Running the “Moby-Dick” Marathon

The novelist Joshua Ferris was standing in the basement of the Ace Hotel in Midtown on Friday night, looking frustrated. He had just read ten minutes of “Moby-Dick” to a crowd of more than a hundred devotees. He was pretty sure he hadn’t nailed his passage. Show More Summary

Late Bloom

“A very definite place.” So Penelope Fitzgerald described the English town of Southwold, on the Suffolk coast—a place of wet winds, speeding clouds, and withdrawn beauty where she and her family moved in 1957, when she was forty-one....Show More Summary

Prize: AKO Literatuuurprijs

They've announced that Oorlog en terpentijn, by Stefan Hertmans, has won this year's AKO Literatuuurprijs -- one of the leading (and, at €50,000, most remunerative) Dutch literary prizes; the book was also shortlisted for another one...Show More Summary


The American Literary Translators Association's National Translation Award winner has been announced; since they're... between websites, the only notice I could find was the Twitter mention: Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich's...Show More Summary

Pre-Arabian Tales

A neat-sounding volume coming out from Penguin Classics is Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange -- described by Robert Irwin in (what I assume is) his Introduction, here reprinted in The Independent as The earliest known Arabic...Show More Summary

The Hudson Prize and Blood: Stories

The first book written for adults that I ever coveted and loved and read to pieces was a short story collection: Stephen King's Night Shift, from which my cousin read me stories when we were both probably much too young, and which was one of the first books I ever bought myself. Show More Summary

Leaving Cedar Rapids

We just wanted to get home, seven people in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, airport thrown together by bad luck, a late flight, and something resembling apathy. Because the flight carrying our crew from Chicago was running late, we would all… Continue reading ?

Why I Am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet”

The Surrealists’ ideal state for making art was the twilight between wakefulness and sleep, when they would dredge up images from the murky subconscious and throw them onto the page or canvas. Proposing sleepwalking as an optimal widespread...Show More Summary

Indian literature abroad

At Arunava Sinha argues that Indian literature must look beyond English to go global, suggesting it's time to: create a Library of India, comprising, say, translations of the 50 best works in Indian languages (fine, we'll include...Show More Summary

Prize: Goldsmiths Prize

They've announced the winner of the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize, the £10,000 fiction prize with the cringe-worthy tag-line: 'Fiction at its most novel', and it is How to be both, by Ali Smith, selected from 119 (regrettably unnamed) novels...Show More Summary

Prize: Bad Sex in Fiction shortlist

The Literary Review has announced the shortlist for its Bad Sex in Fiction Award. The Guardian helpfully presents the offending passages -- and gives you a chance to vote for your favorite. The only shortlisted title under review at the complete review is Murakami Haruki's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Prize: Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize longlist

They've announced the longlist for the 2015 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize, fifteen titles selected "from over seventy entries"; I'm afraid none of them are under review at the complete review.

Honeymoon review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano's Honeymoon, one of the few Modiano titles in print in the US at the time of the Nobel-announcement, and now quickly reissued in paperback...Show More Summary

Dr. Murphy, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Writing Abstracts

Abstract is a misleading name for an abstract, for an abstract should not be abstract. Today, I will write an abstract for my next conference paper, and it feels a bit like writing a story. Like a pitch for a… Continue reading ?

Prize: Premio Carlos Fuentes

They've announced that the Premio Internacional Carlos Fuentes a la Creación Literaria for 2014 will go to Sergio Ramírez (the first one, in 2012, went to Mario Vargas Llosa). Worth US$250,000 (though the actual pay-out is in Mexican...Show More Summary

Prize: Business book

Surely there was never much doubt about what book would win this year's FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, but they had to go through the process and the motions; now the inevitable has been announced: Thomas Piketty'sShow More Summary

Prize: Science book

They've announced that Stuff Matters, by Mark Miodownik, has won this year's Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books Get your copy at or

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