Mrs. Andy Richter, a/k/a actress and writer SARAH THYRE, was dubbed the “family liar” by her father almost as soon as she learned to talk. In her attempt to live up to this infamous nickname, high jinks and hilarity ensued, and she resurrects all her old raunchy anecdotal ghosts in the new memoir Dark at the Roots, which comes packaged with breathless plugs by the likes of David Sedaris and David Rakoff.
If you’re hankering for yet another tale of an adolescent loner with major family issues, consider dipping into The God of Animals. New writer ARYN KYLE pulls off a YA/adult-fiction crossover with her tale of a young girl living on a Colorado ranch who’s fixated on a drowned classmate and then finds herself spending extra time with her unpopular English teacher.
The author of The Piano Tuner, DANIEL MASON, follows up his bestselling debut with yet another journey story. The Harvard grad’s second book, A Far Country, trails 14-year-old Isabel on her voyage from a rural area of her impoverished country to the outskirts of a city. After her brother goes missing, Isabel does exactly what most confused teenagers would do in her place: she tries to find him on her own.
Our obsession with Radar (now in its third print incarnation thanks to yet another relaunch) notwithstanding, we know the voice of its Fresh Intelligence blog, or Gawker, for that matter, couldn’t have existed without Spy. KURT ANDERSEN co-founded the original media/celebrity/politics satire rag, but he’s written a surprisingly serious historical novel called Heyday
On Monday night at Memorial Hall in Cambridge, writer, editor, and publisher Dave Eggers was joined by Samantha Power, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, and Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese "Lost Boy," and the subject of Eggers's fictional biography, What Is the What
In Him Her Him Again the End of Him, former Saturday Night Live writer and current New Yorker humor scribe PATRICIA MARX offers up a close study on how far a girl will go to get over her hideously self-indulgent college boyfriend. Marx’s unnamed enraptured narrator falls in love with Eugene, a fellow Cambridge University student who has a wandering eye and an ego big enough to fill a singles cruise ship.
KEN KALFUS’s latest black comedy pegs the September 11 fallout against the consequences of small-scale domestic terrorism — better known as the nasty urban divorce. A Disorder Peculiar to the Country follows Joyce and Marshall Harriman as they sue for custody of their two children and their Brooklyn Heights co-op.
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.
Journalist and short-story writer ELIZABETH GILBERT had it all — a cool career, a husband, and a nice house in the ’burbs — but she wanted none of it. Following a nasty divorce and a mind-numbing period of depression, Gilbert went to Italy and stuffed herself with the finest food and wine she could find. Then she moved on to an ashram in Mumbai for endless hours of meditation.
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.
“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.