Haters Gon Hate
Have you ever seen Wonder Boys, the movie based on the book by Michael Chabon? In the first scene, it takes you inside a grad school fiction workshop, where various students undercut each other through passive-aggressive critique. It is utterly painful and also rings true (as far as we’ve heard, having never experienced the masochistic impulse to seek out graduate studies, let alone the studies themselves). Inevitably, one student will be more successful than the others, and the others will no doubt, in most instances, begrudge them that success. Of course, it is uncouth to publicly begrudge one success, so most people will just go about this in the most passive and cowardly way possible.
Addressing the crowd from the cash register-cum-bar, John Freeman gave a classic old-media rallying cry.
“Magazines and bookstores are in the same boat,” he told the crowd. “We’re all floating or sinking together.”
Mr. Freeman hosted his first release party as Granta editor on Thursday night at Three Lives & Co. But whatever his trepidation Read More
Emotionally misshapen losers are taking over contemporary literature!
Just kidding. Those guys have been running the show for centuries. But it does seem like every other literary novel that comes out these days has at its center some variation on the classic antihero—a character whose flaws are worn plainly if not Read More
"What do you think? Let me know. Meanwhile…see you about a million times this week, I suppose." That’s how the Vintage book publicist and essayist Sloane Crosley closed a pitch letter she sent to this reporter on Monday afternoon. Really, what is it with this week? The National Book Awards suddenly make everyone want to Read More
The National Book Awards were held last night at the Marriot Marquee, bringing hordes of agents and editors–along with authors like Toni Morrison, Jonathan Franzen, and Joan Didion, who received a lifetime achievement award–to Times Square.
As widely predicted, Denis Johnson won the fiction prize for Tree of Smoke. Mr. Johnson’s wife accepted the Read More
Office life—that Beckettian game of Whac-a-Mole—is the subject of Then We Came to the End, an amusing debut novel from Joshua Ferris. Told in the collective first-person, a know-it-all “we” (like The Virgin Suicides), this is a book about the disposable, often awkward, sometimes precious, usually tedious moments of the workday. “How we hated our Read More