The choice is yours, friends.
British novelist MARTIN AMIS told the Guardian that he has “a god-like relationship with the world I’ve created.” — and he is indeed a literary deity when it comes to inspiring a troop of stylistic disciples (Will Self, Zadie Smith) and traitorous critics (John Updike). In House of Meetings, he returns to life during the gulag, with Soviet Russia as his setting and two half-brothers and the woman they adore as his main players.
“Writing is no longer an act of free will for me, it’s a matter of survival,” says PAUL AUSTER. Known primarily for his postmodern series of experimental detective stories, The New York Trilogy, Auster gear-switches to the fable in his latest novel, Travels in the Scriptorium. Trapped in a spare room, protagonist Mr.
Political satirist and diehard libertarian P.J. O’ROURKE, author of such self-explanatory gems as Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts To Explain the Entire U.S. Government and Peace Kills: America’s New Fun Imperialism, winds up for a new round of economic bitch slapping in his latest, On the Wealth of Nations
In her mouthful of a new novel — American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott*, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work — SUSAN CHEEVER explores the scholarly atmosphere brewing in mid-19th-century Concord, back when Alcott, Emerson, et al.
Hey pop-culture savvy kit kats. We made an embarrassing mistake over at our other gig. Silly us!
Former Guided by Voices bassist and biographer JAMES GREER was married engaged to Sonic Youther* Kim Deal, he used to write for Spin back when it put bands other than My Chemical Romance on the cover, he’s originally from Boston, and his first work of fiction, Artificial Light, is meta to the extreme, with three books-within-a-book forming the story’s ambitious narrative plus a character named Kurt C- who fronted for a band Greer refers to as N.
Otherwise, why would the venerable broadsheet allow this literary fuck up?
Washingtonpost.com is publishing fiction for the first time, serializing the debut novel of Post Business section reporter David Hilzenrath.
The book, "Jezebel's Tomb," is a thriller set in the present-day Middle East. It features a journalist who investigates a bombing and tries to track down a mysterious 2,000-year-old document that may hold a dangerous secret.
SHE'S ELECTRIC: Calvin and Alice
We were caught staring, weepy-eyed, at the above photo of CALVIN TRILLIN and his wife, Alice, in which they look like the happiest, you-wish-you-had-their-relationship couple we’ve seen since the glory days of Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson. But really, we couldn’t help ourselves.
Cambridge-based novelist ALICE HOFFMAN s one of those deeply psychological writers who we depend on to bore into the individual minds of an ill-fated family. Once there, she unearths the sort of romantic desperation and weird, mystical secrets that most households would do anything to keep hidden. For her 19th novel to date, Skylight Confessions, Hoffman focuses on just how much an event of complete randomness can determine one’s fate.
It’s not that we need Hollywood gossip to lead a fulfilled life -- but it sure does help keep things interesting when taking back overdue library books registers as an 8.8 on our personal Richter scale of scandal. What a shame JAKE HALPERN doesn’t quite see it our way. This frequent All Things Considered commentator explores the dark side of celebrity in Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America’s Favorite Addiction, the research for which included partying with professional assistants (we can’t prove they included Lindsay Lohan’s former one, who is now said to be happier working for Jessica Biel) and making nice with Rod Stewart’s biggest fan (could it be his daughter Kim, formerly engaged to a certain Laguna Beach player with a horrible singing voice?) Build a roaring bonfire out of your US Weekly back issues and revive what’s left of your brain cells when Halpern reads at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7 pm | free | 617.566.6660.
Sharon, the more active half of Word Up, sent me an email this afternoon about literary hot shit Marisha Pessl, author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and her latest appearance in the New York Times, looking super-sultry in a photo accompanying a piece about, ummm, I guess the paint set her hedge fund manager husband gave her?
If those strict, binding legal contract-savvy folks at the CIA have their way, that is. Newsweek's Periscope reports that the agency blocked the publication of Plame's book by telling her that she can't mention or discuss her employment since she was hired as a "nonofficial cover" officer posing as a private businesswoman.
Today's New York Times books section led with another piece about the slow death of indie book stores. This one, entitled "A Princeton Maverick Succumbs to a Cultural Shift," profiled Logan Fox. He's the owner of Micawber Books in Princeton, NJ, and even though he randomly looks like he's flirting with you in that posed photo, he's actually completely devastated that his store has been forced to shut itself down.
BLOGGER-IN-TRAINING: Another author falls victim to the lure of instant publishing
We've spent part of our late morning reading about local author Steve Almond and his offspring Josie over at his new Baby Daddy Babble blog. It's interesting and witty stuff -- seriously. But just for the sake of clarification, let's get one thing out of the way.