At the Los Angeles Review of Books, I have a new essay about Samuel R. Delany's 2007 novel Dark Reflections, which is about to be released in a new and slightly revised edition by Dover Books. Here's a taste: In many ways, Dark Reflections is a narrative companion to Delany’s 2006 collection of essays, letters, and interviews, About Writing. Show More Summary
As a field and laboratory scientist I used my whole body for work. So totally immersed, I slept on the floor by a Mass Spec to run samples all night and spent weeks without running water in the mountains. While… Continue reading ?
Politics has been obsessing a lot of people lately, and Ursula K. Le Guin is far from immune to bouts of political anger. In an e-mail to me last winter, she wrote that she felt “eaten up” with frustration at the ongoing occupation of...Show More Summary
Few places are less conducive to erotic optimism than the packed waiting room of a public health clinic in Brooklyn. Sitting on a hard plastic chair under a fluorescent buzz as an employee lectures on proper condom use—a catechism you...Show More Summary
One night in the spring of 1955, the actress Elaine Dundy was leaving a party in New York when a sharp-nosed, floppy-haired young man came toward her and, without context or introduction, asked, “Do you know Henry Green?” Dundy replied that she did. Show More Summary
Your story in this week’s issue, “The Edge of the Shoal,” is about a man who goes out on a fishing trip and gets caught in a storm. When did you first start thinking about writing about someone stranded at sea in a kayak?
Winners of the €10,000 German author-prize, the Welt-Literaturpreis, range from Kertész Imre, two years before he won the Nobel Prize, Amos Oz, and Philip Roth to Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Kehlmann, Murakami Haruki, and, last year, Karl Ove Knausgaard. Now they've announced that this year's prize will go to Zadie Smith; she'll get to pick it up on 10 November.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Carlos Fonseca's Colonel Lágrimas, just out from Restless Books.
Itchy Coo has apparently been around since 2002, publishing children's and YA literature in Scots -- including now some Roald Dahl, such as Chairlie and the Chocolate Works; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or...Show More Summary
Hausa littattafan soyayya ('love literature') has gotten some decent (media) attention recently, and now The Economist offers a (brief) look at Fifty Shades, Sahel-style. I wonder when the first US/UK-anthology -- à la Kurt Thometz's Life Turns Man Up and Down -- will appear.....
The Missing Books is a curated directory of books that do not exist, but should. Featuring missing books from: Cormac McCarthy, the Oulipo, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, JM Coetzee, Roberto Bolaño, Vladimir Nabokov, Mario Bellatín, Jose Saramago, Philip K. Show More Summary
I can’t help but notice the word “instability” getting used, in political writing, to refer to widespread and continued lawlessness, violence, rioting, and so on. A “stable” society is one where these things don’t occur, or occur sporadically and… Continue reading ?
This year's 'Guest of honour' at the Frankfurt Book Fair will be the Netherlands and Flanders, and we've known for a while that in the coming years it will be: France (2017), Georgia (2018), and Norway (2019). Looking ahead, they'veShow More Summary
At Russia beyond the Headlines Alexandra Guzeva has a (short) Q & A with translator Robert Chandler
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Eduardo Rabasa's A Zero-Sum Game, forthcoming from Deep Vellum. Political fiction -- abstract, rather than based on actual events -- is hard to do, but I think this is the...Show More Summary
They could have announced the Nobel Prize in Literature yesterday, but they decided to take their time this year; Swedish Academy permanent secretary Sara Danius (who will be doing the official announcing) explained that now it's likely...Show More Summary
They've announced the shortlist for one of the bigger Russian book awards, the 'Russian Booker' (no relation). Lizok's Bookshelf has an English run-down of the titles in the running, and at ??? ?????????? 2016 they report on the traffic-delayed announcement.
With the five fiction titles announced yesterday, they've now revealed all the finalists for this year's (American) National Book Awards. The winners will be announced on 16 November. Ladbrokes is not offering an over/under on whether or not I will get around to reviewing any one of these by then, but, hey, it's possible.
When I think about what makes science writing beautiful to me (and that beauty might exist in a poem or in a textbook), it’s tone that comes first to mind. Tone of reverence, tones of inclusion and generosity. If there… Continue reading ?
Over the last six weeks we’ve had a glimpse into the world of Victorian cloth bindings, from its humble beginnings in coloured cloths and paper labels to bindings ostentatiously covered […]