This week, we've excerpted a piece from The Baffler, the first issue of that magazine in over two years and the first edited right here in Cambridge. Guess what? I'm an associate editor.
In this essay, former Gawker/Wonkette blogger Jim Newell writes about the time he role-played Edward Gramlich in high school for something called the Fed Challenge.
For James Geary, metaphor is not just another literary
device, a word scribbled on a 7th grade note card before receding
into memory. In his new book, I Is An
Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See The World,
the bestselling author exposes how metaphors impact almost every aspect of our
lives, from advertising to economics to physics, illuminating how such a simple
rhetorical trick effects decision making at its core.
Jonathan Lethem will be very busy on Wednesday.
The Harvard Book Store has some lovely events and readings scheduled for early June -- the main one we're excited about is David Sedaris on June 6, though we just found out it was sold out! Oi. Obvs the HBS would have hosted the former Christmas elf at a larger venue -- like, say, the Orpheum?!? -- but due to the literary rock star's contractual obligations he can only read from his new book of pseduo-memoirish stories, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, in small locations.
A little over a week ago, the Phoenix's own Peter Kadzis chatted with Michael Palin over at the First Unitarian Church. They discussed Palin's new memoir, Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, Saturday Night Live, and why writers should always pose with beer and a cigarette in publicity photos.
Word Up has many inexplicable literary crushes: Mr. Darcy, Ira Glass, Laurie Laurence, John Galt, Walter Burns in His Girl Friday. You know.
Then there's Alan Alda. Seriously, how can you not LOVE Alan Alda? Look at him!
Timed to our Alda reverie, the marketing mavens at Harvard Book Store just alerted us to a couple upcoming fall events, which includes this little gem:
A regular on NPR’s news and comedy quiz show Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me, writer ROY BLOUNT is the uninformed liberal’s worst nightmare. He was born in the South, has left-leaning beliefs, now lives in the Northeast, and finds it extremely irksome when Yankees assume anyone based below the Mason-Dixon line is a simpleton who voted for Dubya.
Girl on the Verge
We’ll admit to being a little jealous of VENDELA VIDA’s charmed writer’s life. She co-edits the Believer magazine, she co-founded the non-profit children’s writing center 826 Valencia, and she lives in San Francisco with her literary-hero husband, David Eggers. Even better, she isn’t afraid to address those huge, ambiguous questions nobody knows the answer to.
"Read late Amis -- maniacally alert, secular in timbre but religious in the fidelity of his observations -- and stay on your toes," writes James Parker in reference to Martin Amis's latest novel, House of Meetings, set in the deep, dark of Stalin's Russia. Amis came to Cambridge to read from the book, with our own Peter Kadzis giving the introduction.
In his introduction to Paul Auster's reading at the Brattle Theatre last night, poet and Phoenix contributor William Corbett compares Auster's lastest novel, Travels in the Scriptorium, to an episode of the Twilight Zone. In the opening of the book, Mr. Blank finds himself in an empty room, and begins to be interrogated by people, people who turn out to be characters he's created.
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.
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.
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.
SPORTS GUYHow did Tom Brady go from being a sixth-round draft pick to the Patriots’ star quarterback and one of football’s most celebrated players? Ah, the warm-fuzzy story of the underdog. Sports journalist, former Phoenix staffer, and NPR’s “Only A Game” contributor CHARLES P. PIERCE tells the tale of Brady’s rise in Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything
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.