A state run bookstore in Shanghai is ripping out pages from Webster’s Dictionary that include a reference to Taiwan.
The Dallas Morning News checks in with Deep Vellum Books, the bookstore offshoot of Deep Vellum Publishing that owner Will Evans sought a business partner to keep going....more
At the New York Review of Books, Joyce Carol Oates writes about Shirley Jackson through her seminal story “The Lottery,” her contemporaneous public perception via hate mail, the figure of her presented in literary biographies, the self she expressed in essays and works of memoir, her marriage made in hell, her abuse of powerful psychotropic drugs—amounting to a wonderfully haunting literary presence in the American Canon....more
We’ve always been afraid of dead people (voting).
To get political for a second: hey but don’t forget there’s a real attempt to rig the election going on, and it’s not coming from the left.
After 1,000 years, is it time for Egypt to find a new capital?...more
Julian Hanna reviews Stefany Anne Goldberg and Morgan Meis’s Dead People at 3:AM Magazine. The book eulogizes twenty-nine people Goldberg and Meis handpicked themselves with short obituaries. Hanna writes that the twenty-nine obituaries all offer, “something lively and curious.” Each is, “an all-night drunken wake, a celebration of whatever it was I managed to contribute to intellectual life during my brief stint among the living.”...more
For better or worse, poetry is now the only thing he likes to do. Even with the crying and the hopeless odds.
Over at The Point, O.T. Marod writes about the crippling existential despair inherent in the question, “How should a poet make money?”—and a certain poet’s journey in a 2002 Toyota Camry inching along in Chicago traffic (towards?/away?/in the general vicinity of?/not even close to?) an answer....more
Long before Curtis Sittenfeld was a New York Times bestselling author (Eligible), she was friends with Sam Park (This Burns My Heart). And they’re still friends: in an essay for the New Yorker, Sittenfeld chronicles their decades-long platonic romance, from early days collaborating on “50 Most Beautiful Sexiest Men Alive of the Year at Stanford” to dedicating their novels to each other to Park’s diagnosis of Stage III-C stomach cancer in 2014....more
For Playboy, Alexandra Kleeman (You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine) interviews Colin Winnette. On writing his most recent novel Haints Stay, Winnette says his process was like “spending a year or so in my own private Western.” On his short story “Whereabouts,” also published in Playboy, Winnette tells Kleeman, “I’m always interested in the ways that assuming you have the ‘best intentions’ can really fuck things up.”...more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp and Tommy Pico discuss Pico’s book-length poem, IRL, and its themes of temporality, Indiginous identity, and lyrical humor. IRL (which stands for ‘in real life’) reflects a “terrifying” and cathartic creative process in which Pico churned out new material four days a week and spent Fridays aggressively editing....more
Evil is not one man, but rather the process of normalization via which exclusion, deportation, and finally extermination are all rendered morally justifiable.
At Lit Hub, Rafia Zakaria writes an essay about Donald Trump’s rampant Islamophobia and how it can be read as emblematic of the evil Hannah Arendt theorized about in Eichmann in Jerusalum....more
In Brooklyn Magazine’s “The Musical Map of the United States,” writers create a soundtrack of place association. The 50+ essays on songs and their states are sweet and sad and funny, but always specific. Sleeper hits like Emily Hilleren’s “The Rural Alberta Advantage” (North Dakota) give a very personal sense of what it means to be from somewhere:
Coming from a place known mainly for being where Mount Rushmore isn’t, North Dakotans can have a middle child’s craving for attention.
In search of a true blue M&M.
For far too long we have been denied twin London Bridges.
And while we’re on it, why DOESN’T the Statue of Liberty have a glowing wrist watch?
When things go down, let’s all hide out on the most remote island in the world....more
Almost as notable as an artist’s work nowadays are the comments and speculative personas that arise around them on the Internet. Jonathan Safran Foer is something of a perfect storm, having attracted the disdain of the public without seeming fazed enough to make that public feel any remorse....more
What would you give to be happy, fun, anxiety-free? Would you give your soul? This is the question Deirdre Coyle asks in her story “Fun Person,” up at Hobart this week. The story opens with the narrator vomiting on the sidewalk outside of a bar, but not for the obvious reasons one might vomit in such a location....more
If you could only bring one book to a remote island infested by penguins, what would it be? The Paris Review’s Dan Piepenbring has a write-up of Nobel Laureate Anatole France’s novel Penguin Island, which is pretty much what it sounds like....more
Friday 10/14: Visit City Lit Books to hear Cuban sci-fi novelist Yoss read from his book Super Extra Grande. Yoss will be joined by local author Rey Anduhjar. 6:30 p.m., free.
Saturday 10/15: Head to Bow Truss Coffee for the first installment of the Chimera Reading Series, a new series that aims to celebrate work that challenges the conventions of mode and genre by writers whose voices or angles have been historically underrepresented....more
The concepts of genius and IQ have long been instruments of cultural and economic control. For Slate, Dana Goldstein examines how Donald Trump has bought into these ideas:
Trump’s adoration of IQ testing recalls an especially disturbing period in the history of genius: the late 19th and early 20th century, when social scientists attempted to measure and compare people’s intelligence.
For Hazlitt, Hugh Ryan attempts to document the many personas of mid-1900s drag performer Malvina Schwartz, bringing color to the landmarks and styles of a queer world that sometimes threatens to be forgotten. Ultimately his work illustrates the piecemeal nature of queer historiography and the intermittently rewarding and disheartening detective work of pursuing these stories:
The history of that recording is a microcosm for queer history itself: fragmented, discontinuous, and surprising to the modern ear.
In the midst of such a dark year some actual good news: the Justice Dept. is going to start tracking police killings.
Let’s all take a moment for the nightmare architecture of Hans Poelzig.
The best roads are roads to nowhere....more
The Fuller Cut in Ypsilanti, Michigan is offering $2 discounts to kids who read a book to their barber during their haircuts. For NPR, Jennifer Guerra speaks with customers/readers and their parents, who not only are shaving a bit off their haircut budgets, but also have the extra opportunity to encourage reading and comprehension for their kids outside of school....more