Posts by: Andrew Altschul

Reading in the New Year

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Welcome to 2011! What do we call this decade, anyway? Who will win the Super Bowl? What will become of health care reform? How many New York City snowplows does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Some questions are impossible to answer.

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The Thing Around Your Neck

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In her new short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie moves back and forth between two continents the way she has in real life. Adichie depicts contemporary middle class Nigeria, as well as the lives of Nigerian women newly arrived in the United States—wives, girlfriends of Americans, au pairs—adjusting to a new country.

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Andrew Foster Altschul: The Last Book I Loved

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images-11Usually, if I read a review of a book and think it sounds like something I’d love, it isn’t. A recent exception is Rivka Galchen’s Atmospheric Disturbances, surely one of the strangest novels of recent years. Though the name of Jorge Luis Borges frequently comes up with regards to Galchen’s novel, I think that’s a red herring, a side-effect of part of Atmospheric Disturbances taking place in Argentina; the real name here is Vladimir Nabokov, whose tutelage on the infinite plasticity and intrinsic conflicts of point of view Galchen has chewed up, digested, and spat out to terrifying effect.

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STOP WRITING!

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From The New York Times: In these times of plummeting consumer confidence and evaporating labor markets, it is time to address the problem head on. We must now go boldly forward and bail out the writers. Read more…

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One Crazy Motherfucker

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I Have Fun Everywhere I Go

Memoirs can be split into two rough camps: those that place their narrator front and center, and those focused on external events. The former narcissistically inflates its protagonist, even when describing misbehavior or abjection – it says my experience is exemplary, my challenges or tragedies can illuminate your life.

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New! Live! Cornelia Nixon reads fiction…

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Got an hour to listen to an amazing short story? Watch this year’s Pulitzer Prize poet, and former U.S. Poet Laureate, introduce Cornelia Nixon, who reads her short story, “Beach Bunnies,” at UC Berkeley’s Story Hour, on November 6, 2008.

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