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This Week in Short Fiction

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Remember Elizabeth Strout’s 2008 Pulitzer-prize winning novel in stories Olive Kitteridge? What if Olive could come to life in a film adaptation? Man. In a perfect world, probably Frances McDormand would play Olive, right? In fact, maybe we could just give McDormand creative control of the whole project, yeah?

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Antique Doodles

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The owner of another fabulous volume, the Book of St Albans – a gentleman’s guide to heraldry, hawking and hunting that, in the 1480s, was the first colour printed book in English – did worse and with much less shame: he added a little drawing to the bottom of a page showing an enthusiastic couple having sex.

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The Marquis de Sade’s Executive MBA

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For The Baffler, Kurt Newman analyzes Tom DeMarco’s 1997 novel, The Deadline: A Novel of Project Management, comparing the work to that of the Marquis de Sade and explaining why a seemingly irrelevant book highlights “our economic order’s sadomasochistic core.” The Deadline differs from other sadomasochistic fiction (American Psycho, Fight Club, and 24) in that it is distinguishable for “its illumination of the role of sadist and masochistic fantasies—not in the psychopathologies of day traders, not in the hollow rituals of postmodern consumption and therapy, and not in the torture chambers of late-capitalist militarism—but in the world of industrial relations.”

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Song of the Day: “Fool”

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Perfume Genius is the stage moniker of Seattle-based artist Mike Hadreas, whose buzz-worthy new album reeks of deliberate, inspired songwriting and technical ability. Hadreas showcases his impressive vocal range on this beautiful track from the record, Too Bright, titled “Fool.” The deceptively flippant lyrics mask a melodic complexity that rewards us more and more with each subsequent listen.

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Surveillance in the Stacks

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Librarians have hard-won reputations as defenders of open information and patron privacy, but what about third-party providers of library services? Slate’s Future Tense explores some recent revelations from companies like Adobe, whose Digital Editions e-book software has been criticized for transmitting reader data in plain text—making it an easy target for surveillance by the government, and other private companies.

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The New New Testament

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For NPR Books, Craig Morgan Teicher finds a fantastic reimagining of the black, Southern, gay experience in his review of Jericho Brown’s The New Testament. Drawing from the gospels, as well as the poet’s own rich landscape of rhythm and American mythology, Brown’s new collection attempts to articulate some kind of hope for a community in which tragedies like the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager are, sadly, not without precedent.

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Apollo Revisited

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Tom Hanks (yeah, that one), lands his short fiction debut over at the New Yorker:

I’ve been around great storytellers all my life and, like an enthusiastic student, I want to tell some of my own. And I read so much nonfiction that the details stack up in my head and need a rearranging sometimes.

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