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  • July 13, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    Good gracious. First, a Harvard University freshman fucked up a two-book deal worth a cool half-mil. (For those living under a rock, Kaavya Viswanathan plagiarized a nice chunk of her YA novel, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life--just your basic tween saga on ditching a super-scheduled, uptight over-achiever persona for some juicy high school dramarama.

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  • July 12, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    Not all birthday parties end with presents and a wrapping-paper tiara. Take Heidi Pitlor’s wrenching, Sue Miller–esque debut, The Birthdays. On Joe Miller’s 75th, his children gather to celebrate, each of them nursing wounds. One daughter is pregnant by a sperm donor whom her husband’s infatuated with, another, the youngest, is about to have a baby and doesn’t know who the father is.

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  • July 11, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    It's nice to know I'm not the only one who is regularly disturbed by the New York Times' Modern Love essays. This week, Theodora Stites takes us into the bone-chilling world of the online social networking scene. Way to pick up on the trend stories. People keep in touch via the Web?!!

    Stites spends most of her word count here bragging about the many online communities to which she belongs--it's an exhausting laundry-list, and I'm wondering whether she's at all embarrassed by the amount of thought she puts into not only maintaining her personal pages, but her shameless admission that she'd rather experience a well-connected fake life on a machine than in reality.


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  • July 10, 2006
    By Nina MacLaughlin

    Hooray for Small Beer Press. We came across the tiny Northampton publishing house when Kelly Link and her astounding, bizarre, genre-waltzing second collection of short stories Magic for Beginners crossed our path. Small Beer puts out work that’s more literary than typical sci-fi or fantasy. More fantastical than literary fiction.

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  • July 10, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    T. Coraghessan Boyle — better known as T.C. — is back with his 11th novel, Talk Talk, an identity-theft thriller that traces the framing of Dana Halter, a deaf woman who is in danger of disappearing into the criminal-justice system. Her heroic boyfriend, Bridges, is ready to risk it all for Dana’s love, and the two set out on a road trip across the country to clear her name.

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  • July 07, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    Writers are known to spend days in self-imposed, lonely isolation. So when they decide to unwind, they do it up right. Grub Street, Word Up's fave independent writing center, is hosting Grub Gone...Sweaty, the second in a series of reading parties that are geared to get you drunk and slam-dancing to Steve Almond's DJ stylings, or at least mix and mingle a little with some other local scribes.

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  • July 06, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    Not only did Al Gore invent this here Interweb, he also knows a shitload about why the world is going to hell in a handbasket. It has less to do with blaming politicians, more to do with everyone in sight ramming their gas guzzlers across highways and sucking down natural resources faster than a D&D iced-coffee.

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  • July 06, 2006
    By Nina MacLaughlin

    It’s not necessarily news in the new sense, but Word Up just got wind of Spike Jonze’s latest project: production begins this summer on an animated version of Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are to be released in 2008. And who wrote the screenplay? None other than Dave Eggers.

    Eggers, prince of a publishing empire, literary do-gooder, infamous author of the man-boy memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, told Salon last year that up till then, he’d avoided screenwriting, “but Spike is one of my favorite directors and "Malkovich" in particular is one of my very favorite movies.

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  • July 06, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    I just Googled Heidi Pitlor for info so that I could write up a blurb about her upcoming reading at the Harvard Book Store. Got completely distracted by the top link, to this four-year old Village Voice literary supplement piece: Young, Gifted, and Workshopped.

    Right now I've got a few friends who hate their jobs and are just deluded and brilliant enough to Cooking up a Book Dealwant to go back to school for their MAs, but I don't know many who think about going for an MFA as though it's a make you or break you life choice.

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  • July 05, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    Over the long weekend, I spent some time hiding from the revel-makers on my minature balcony with Daphne Kalotay's linked collection, Calamity and Other Stories. She's a Grub St. alum, and we here at Word Up are pretty much obsessed with all things Grub. More on that soon.

    A New Jersey native, Daphne got her Creative Writing MA at B.

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  • July 04, 2006
    By Sharon Steel

    For those of you too busy to catch up on your classics, this is phenomenal.

    Crime and Punishment
    Franny and Zooey
    Wuthering Heights


    Oh, Heathecliff. You angry bastard.





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