The first day of business began for many in publishing with the news that Borders has decided to delay payment. While Borders has been teetering on financial ruin for many quarters (almost always to be bailed out by its backer, Pershing Capital), such woeful news after the holidays– when sales are considered to be at [...]
The New York Times Book Review just published its notable 100 for 2010. Topping the list is the misleading “Fiction and Poetry” header, misleading as it is mostly fiction and three books of poems. Yes, 3. There are three fiction titles starting with the letter A on the list. Oh, the hypocrisy.
The New York Times article on literary agents in Brooklyn made me cringe — whether it’s due to the description of the agent on the scooter (as though it was the epitome of fey freedom outside Manhattan), or the revelation, at least to this The New York Times journalist, that literary agents exist outside of [...]
I am thrilled that NYRB has reprinted Bruce Duffy’s novel on Wittgenstein, Russell and Moore. The World as I Found It rocked my world when I first discovered a used copy of it fifteen years ago. Since then, I’ve lived in fear of losing my tattered copy. It also started me on a never-ending project [...]
Unexpectedly, B.R. Myer’s negative review in The Atlantic prompted me to read Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. The sentence that caught my attention was Myer’s contention that the novel’s flaws will be defended on the ground that it is a novel about commercialism and about the Iraq War. Truth be told, I would like to see a serious novel on those subject matters as they are topics that need to be examined by American writers, primarily because American corporations excel at exporting a rampant consumer culture abroad…and well, the Iraq War, the reason goes without saying. Reading Mr. Myers’ always-entertaining vitriol, I decided that perhaps I had been unfairly biased in deciding not to read Freedom. Perhaps Franzen had learned to master the sentence, as some laudatory reviewers described, but perhaps, most of all, he could explain the current state of American politics worth a decade of reflection since 9/11.