2 gauge plugs? You can do better than that, Stephen Elliott.
The perfect reading material to Yo La Tango’s new album, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass could be none other than STEPHEN ELLIOTT’s latest, aptly titled My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up. The episodic novel of 11 linked stories follows Theo, who goes from a group home for troubled teens in Chicago to finding literary success in San Francisco.
Don't be jealous!
Why. Does. She. Have. SOMUCHFUCKINGHAIR?!
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LANDWe’re tearing through NELL FREUDENBERGER’s debut novel, The Dissident, at a crazy pace, pausing only to marvel at how this white, Harvard educated, ex-New Yorker editorial assistant managed to capture the voice of Yuan Zhao, a Chinese performance artist and political firecracker spending a year in Los Angeles teaching at the St.
ALICE MCDERMOTT is a rare writer, the sort who keeps her work focused on one type of person (Irish Catholics) in one setting (Long Island), and never tell the same story twice. Her latest, After This, is a Vietnam novel full of the political and social chaos of the ’60s and ’70s as well as the tumultuous inner turmoil surrounding the six members of the Keane family.
The Old North Bridge
The Old Manse (Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne lived here)
Why has no one informed us of the fact that Concord, MA is gorgeous? Lucky for you scribes and literary folk with a car and gas money, The Concord Festival of Authors begins next week on Thurs, Oct 19 and will run through Fri, Nov 3.
The unspoken rule of “chicks before dicks” doesn’t seem to mean very much to Mattie and Jane, the two leading ladies in LISE HAINES’s second novel, Small Acts of Sex and Electricity. Both of them are in love with the same man, and in a bizarre, Wife Swap–esque switch, Jane takes a few weeks off from her family to indulge in some singleton adventures while unmarried college friend Mattie takes care of Jane’s two daughters and tries to rekindle an old relationship with Jane’s husband.
Marisha Pessl, literary hotshit of the moment (not according to the Dig) for her debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics, wrote an Op-Ed in today’s NYTimes that argues in favor of embracing the nefarious freshman 15. Pack it on, she says, because there’s plenty of time for rules and restraint after you graduate.
A 10th anniversary edition of David Foster Wallace’s juggernaut of a novel Infinite Jest is being released in November. (Amazon lists the date as November 13). And according to the Howling Fantods, the premiere site for all things DFW, Dave Eggers wrote the forward.
In other DFDubs news, John Krasinski, the 26 year-old Newton native who plays Jim on The Office, is making a movie based on Wallace’s short story collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (which includes the story “Forever Overhead,” which I read as a 13 year old in the Best American Fiction anthology of 1992; I fell hard for DFW after that).
Eve Ensler + Salma Hayek: "Valentine's Day is stupid."
EVE ENSLER of The Vagina Monologues brings us her equally provocative and politically charged memoir, Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World. That would be a post-9/11 where, awash in Code Red security precautions, she weaves her personal history of an abusive childhood with stories of other women — Afghanis forced into burkas, female prisoners in upstate New York.
A long time ago, when we were temping in an office that reduced us to a trained data-entry monkey, the only way we could halt the onset of a mental breakdown was to stream archived episodes of NPR’s This American Life off the internerd. It was in this way that we discovered the delightfully snarky DAVID RAKOFF, who not only dresses better than like-minded contemporary David Sedaris but often delivers the acidic wit with 10 times the panache.
A few snippets for your Monday afternoon:
Via Pitchfork:The list of bands Peter Ellenby has photographed since he began in 1994 reads like the graduation announcement for a whole class full of indie rock elites, from role models such as Sonic Youth, the Flaming Lips, Frank Black, and Mike Watt to the more recent likes of Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and .
The jig is up, Barrino. We've never been all that fond of you, but this stuff isn't helping your rep:
1. The AI winner confessed to Kim Green, who ghost-wrote Barrino's biography, Life is Not a Fairy Tale (Simon & Schuster), that she couldn't read or write (or review Green's chapters in progress for accuracy, etc.
We’ve never catered to the publishing industry’s mentality that short-story collections are the poor man’s novel. In fact, we often prefer them to bulky bestselling hardcovers, and KELLY LINK’s Magic for Beginners is proof that sometimes a brief glimpse can say more than a 200-page staring contest. Link’s nine tales are a tongue-in-cheek twist on sci-fi genre fiction, and even the New Yorker’s on board with how she skillfully weaves in fantastical snapshots of middle-class America.
Mark Z. Danielewski’s debut House of Leaves – with its unsettling text patterns (scrunched letters, upside-down words, sentences that ran diagonal, blank pages, black pages), its unsettling narrator interaction, and, most of all its unsettling – no, terrifying -- image of an ever-expanding blackness -- ranks as one of the most psychically haunting books I’ve read.
Yeah, yeah, we know that White Oleander was totally an Oprah’s Book Club read. Can we help loving it? No, we cannot. Not even Oprah can tarnish Janet Fitch's descriptive magic, although this interview with Ms. Winfrey makes us want to hurl. But doesn't Fitch look sort of regal sitting in that high-backed medieval chair?
Pink is the new Bitch
Chuck Klosterman: We want to punch you in the Sasquatch
Oh you! Go do what the Harvard Book Store says:
I. You can throw:
1. Shiny beads 2. Dusty post-feminist texts 3. Prescription-only coke bottle glasses
II. You can go:
1. The Ultimate Indie-Yuppie is in town, and what a nasty piece of work he is: