That morning, Blume, in a pink baseball cap and sneakers, was taking her daily two-mile walk on a path that snakes along the beach. At 8 a.m., the sun was already strong, but the more Blume talked, the faster she walked, and everything sped up whenever the conversation turned to her new book, “In the Unlikely Event,” which will be published next month.
Posts Tagged: New York Times
As I worked, filing reports every night from a hotel room, the details nagged at me. Her mother, Japa Tamang, was living in an open-sided shed once used to store grain, in hills still shuddering from aftershocks. My husband had the idea of giving her a ride back to Kathmandu and a plane ticket to Delhi, and this idea cheered me up greatly.
(n.); soft, delicate, tender; from the Old English hnesce (“soft in texture”) or Gothic hnasqus (“tender; soft”)
“Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth over the merits of print versus digital books so many times, it’s as if I were in an abusive relationship with myself.
Few things are more frightening for an academic and a scholar than losing the ability to think. Their livelihoods, and sense of self, are dependent on the cognitive ability to generate new ideas and write about them. And so for Sandy Bem, a psychology professor, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s threatened a devastating blow....more
Parthenope was one of the local Sirens who in Book XII of the Odyssey, and many variant versions of the story, sang songs to lure the Greek hero Odysseus to his doom, not anticipating that he would block the seductive sound by filling his sailors’ ears with wax.
A scathing indictment from Jim Dwyer at the New York Times this week accuses city leaders of depriving funding from the library system, and its mayors of holding the NYPL hostage for leverage in budget negotiations. As Dwyer points out, city libraries draw more annual visitors than the museums, sports stadiums, and performing arts institutions combined—and the funding just doesn’t add up....more
Hit young adult novels may spread like wildfire, but they don’t grow on trees. The Times profiles Julie Strauss-Gabel, a YA editor known for whipping her writers into shape:
The last thing you want is an author saying, ‘That’s what’s selling right now, so that’s what I’m going to write.’ That’s the point at which a trend gets icky.
In 2013 Ross Williams began an ambitious project: film all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets in 154 different New York City locations, and reach “beyond the restrictions of a live performance in a small theater.” Now the project has taken a large step forward, as the group completed their 100th film, which features the Emmy-award winning actress Carrie Preston reciting Sonnet 27 on the Verrazano Bridge....more
If you’ve been curious about Robert Moses but put off by the sheer heft of volumes like The Power Broker, a forthcoming comic book rendering of the master builder’s reign is a fun new option. The book, titled Robert Moses, comes from a long French tradition of giving traditionally serious subjects the comic treatment....more
“Gutenberg may have invented the movable-type printing press,” but the father of the paperback is a different man: Aldus Manutius. As reported in the New York Times, an exhibition opened at the Grolier Club in Manhattan this week to commemorate the 500th year anniversary of his death....more
At the New York Times, Dwight Garner reviews Jorie Graham’s new collected, From the New World: 1976-2014. Graham is a giant of American poetry, and the volume follows her career as the margins drift in and out, the trees indicate myriad seasons of emotive potential, and countless pronouns resist simple structures of reference and meaning....more
I would never have consented to writing the story using a gendered pronoun for Sasha, but when that approach was rejected, writing without using pronouns at all seemed like a good solution. It was challenging to write that way without it being awkward, but it also felt a bit like writing formal poetry — the constraints can end up making you more creative.
Book reviewing is still a heavily debated topic within the literary world. This week, the New York Times’s Bookends column has James Parker and Anna Holmes answering the question, “Is book reviewing a public service or an art?”. Head to the Sunday Book Review page to find out what they both agreed on....more
After a Times article last March criticized Spain (and its literary establishment) for failing to unravel the mystery of the precise location of Miguel de Cervantes’s grave, a reinvigorated search may have finally yielded results. Cervantes was buried in Madrid’s Trinitarias convent, but the specific site was not marked (or not marked well); the discovery of a casket with the initials M....more
(adj.); having a well or suitable name
From Dickens with his bitter Gradgrind to J. K. Rowling with her sour Voldemort, authors have long understood that names help establish character.
—Neal Gabler, from “The Weird Science of Naming Things”
A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet… wouldn’t it?...more
A graduate of Chabot College, Tom Hanks defends President Obama’s new community college proposal, explaining the benefits of his free education in the New York Times....more
Shortly after Kamel Daoud’s Counter-Investigation fell short of winning the Goncourt Prize, the Algerian author received a Facebook death threat from an Islamist preacher calling the author “an enemy of religion.” Now, Daoud fights to defend his work as extremists attempt to force him into exile....more
During Amazon’s skirmish with Hachette, one group that rallied to Amazon’s defense were the self-published authors who claimed that the Kindle allowed their overlooked voices a platform. Now, those authors find themselves sinking as the online retailer has turned on them with the Kindle Unlimited service, undermining their book sales....more
In a piece for the Times’s Sunday Book Review, Paul Muldoon leads a fascinating and warm-hearted expedition through the letters and poems of Samuel Beckett, new volumes of which will become available in the coming months. One could argue that Muldoon is prone to hyperbole, at times; he casually describes Krapp’s Last Tape as “the single greatest evocation of loss and longing of the 20th century” and declares that “to describe [Beckett’s] line breaks as arbitrary would be a kindness.” On the whole, though, Muldoon inspires confidence through his insightful readings and engaging prose, giving readers a captivating window into Beckett’s writing life, and the collaborative relationships that brought his plays and radio dramas to the world....more