Blog Profile / The Millions

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:8538
Posts / Week:26.4
Archived Since:February 11, 2009

Blog Post Archive


Recommended Reading: Daniel Arnold’s Nervous Breakdown self-interview, which follows an excerpt of his new story collection, Snowblind.

Party Crasher

Those of you with some knowledge of Pale Fire and Lolita won’t be surprised to learn what Nabokov thought of dinner parties. Namely, he thought they were awful, vaguely surreal events, held largely by drunkards with overriding appetites for drama. At The Paris Review Daily, Sadie Stein quotes a passage from “The Vane Sisters” to […]

Remember This Fondly: On Reading Roald Dahl to My Son

I can think of no other time that my son will sit, his head propped on my shoulder, for a half an hour or more. That I can sense the drama popping in his mind as I read is an obvious added bonus. Reading storybooks has put us at the neat intersection of stillness and excitement.

A People’s History

After thirty years, Larry Kramer has finished his novel The American People, which he prefers to consider a new form of nonfiction. In the novel, a narrator based largely on Kramer writes a historical expose, also titled The American People, in which numerous American icons are described as having been gay. As Kramer says, he […]

To Fall in Love with a Reader, Do This

Several months ago, The New York Times published an article about a 36-question interview devised to make strangers fall in love. The questions presented here are designed with a more modest goal: to have an interesting conversation about books.

To the Choir

It can be hard for critics to strike a balance between high theory and accessible prose. For James Wood, the key is to retain enough theoretical knowledge to come up with an insightful point, while still retaining the ability to write in a natural dialect. In The Guardian, he talks about his own relationship with […]

Hard to Recall

“Thinking about her life is like sifting ashes. You believe you see the clear outline of a message, but it inevitably disintegrates before you can be sure of its sense. The mantle of a ‘rediscovered writer’ has never settled firmly around [her] shoulders; she has a way of resisting the platitudes of remembering.” Michelle Dean on the writer […]


Up until 1999, Italian college students were required to write longform theses, which explains why Umberto Eco felt the need to write a guide to completing one. Eco being Eco, however, the guide went on to become a classic with many applications. At Page-Turner, Hua Hsu explains why the author’s writing manual is also a […]

To Have or Have Not

Read our own Edan Lepucki’s great review of Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids? Then you might want to read Vivian Gornick’s complementary take on the book. In Bookforum, she reads Meghan Daum’s anthology as well as Kate Bolick’s Spinster, placing the two in a broader feminist context.

Tuesday New Release Day: Costello; Packer; Adler; Barry; Lent; Urrea; Gattis; Chaudhuri; Moss; Petterson

New this week: Academy Street by Mary Costello; The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer; After the Tall Timber by Renata Adler; Recipes for a Beautiful Life by Rebecca Barry; A Slant of Light by Jeffrey Lent; The Water Museum by Luis Alberto Urrea; All Involved by Ryan Gattis; Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri; The Language […]

Sordid, Unprofitable, Unrewarding: On ‘New Grub Street’ and Cynical Literature

Gissing's portrait of squabbling critics, disappointed writers, and the final triumph of literary middlemen is so obviously comparable to our own time that it ought to serve as required reading for anyone planning yet another thinkpiece on contemporary publishing.

Funny Ways of Showing It

It’s not a commonly held opinion, but Hilary Mantel thinks Henry VIII was a romantic. In a brief interview with Jamie Sharpe, the Wolf Hall author dispels the common view of the oft-married king as a philanderer. “He thought that he had to shape his life and shape his kingdom for each woman,” she says. […]

“Don’t tie up this story with too neat a bow”

Recommended Reading: David L. Ulin on The Wisdom of Perversity by Rafael Yglesias.

Sneak Peek at Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer

Over at Bloom today, a sneak look at an excerpt from Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s The Sympathizer, featured this week on the cover of the NY Times Sunday Book Review and out April 7. Writes Philip Caputo, Nguyen “brings a distinct perspective” to the Vietnam War that “reaches beyond its historical context to illuminate more universal themes.”


In Ireland, Easter is a holiday with great historical significance, thanks to the eponymous uprising that took place in Dublin in 1916. W.B. Yeats lived a short distance away from the spot where the uprising began. Compelled to write about the event, Yeats produced one of his most famous poems, the genius of which is […]

Stodgy, Slow, Sacred: Fathers and Sons and Baseball

This is why baseball matters so much to me. In an era of relentless change, here is one thing that has remained constant without losing its capacity to dazzle. Here is one thing a dad and an eight-year-old can talk about without either one having to pretend to be interested.

Hard to Categorize

The Naipaul Question, as Morgan Meis calls it, is simple: is V.S. Naipaul too offensive to be taken seriously? His recent biography includes scenes of abuse and moments of straightforward racism. But Meis thinks the issue is more complicated than whether Naipaul is a monster — the author is, in his phrasing, too “protean” to be […]

That Witch! An Excerpt from ‘Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen’

The image of the copy editor is of someone who favors a rigid consistency, a mean person who enjoys point­ing out other people’s errors, a lowly person who is just starting out on her career in publishing and is eager to make an impres­sion, or, at worst, a bitter, thwarted person who wanted to be a writer.

Retreat with Eliot

Looking for a New England writer’s retreat? Perhaps you could stay in T. S. Eliot‘s childhood summer home.

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