* “Foul Matter — it’s the term for an unedited manuscript — is to publishing what Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty was to movies, a dissection of greed, hypocrisy and ambition. Publishers have been taken over by German conglomerates like Blundenraven and the real-life Bertelsmann. Companies have names like Queeg & Hyde, Grundge and Dreck Inc. An editor called Bill Mnemic regularly steals other houses’ authors.” See what happens when Sonny Mehta fires Martha Grimes?

What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick? The New Yorker features a new short story by E Annie Proulx, one of those writers who inspires the Babu to stand around looking mushy and holding up a flickering lighter (Zippo, usually) any time someone mentions her name.

Amy Tan smelt a dead rat, hallucinated about a naked man and discovered that she was dropping the first letter of certain words. Back in the Timothy Leary days, it was a bad LSD experience; in Tan’s case, it was undiagnosed Lyme’s Disease. This sounds like something out of Atul Gawande’s case files.

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