Month: October 2004

  • The End is Nigh

    Courtesy Anil Dash, the ultimate list of spoilers.

  • Alice in Blunderland

    I can understand why Randa Jarrar (blogging over at MoorishGirl) and Noggs are upset at Daphne Merkins’ profile of Alice Munro. Every piece about a woman writer feels it necessary to comment on the way she looks, talks and dresses, whereas men get away with the single-adjective description: “rumpled”, “intense”, “dapper”. And yes, it’s demeaning […]

  • The Life-Before-Rowling department

    Oh, good, the Boston Globe has profiled Brian Jacques. “Redwall novels are long — 350 to 400 pages — and while critics marveled that kids would read the doorstop Harry Potter novels, it passed unnoticed that they have been reading Redwall since 1986.” I’d read the books ages ago, in my longlost youth, but had […]

  • Hannibalism

    From Adam Lipkin’s Fear Factor Index, on Bookslut: “…[H]orror, by its nature, doesn’t always allow for series. A successful science-fiction or fantasy novel, even if intended as a one-shot, often involves a lot of world-building, and turning a successful one into a series doesn’t take a lot of work. Likewise, a successful mystery or crime […]

  • How to torture Seymour Hersh

    I love it when a sentence like this pops up in a review: “Do you want to be allied to a country that calls the Geneva Convention ‘quaint’?” Nicholas Lezard, on Guantánamo. And Seymour Hersh, who’s making waves (what’s new?) with Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, gives Lakshmi Chaudhry a […]

  • Lollipops and blurbs

    There are many things about the publishing industry that mystify those in the outer circle of initiation… hell, there are many things about publishing that mystify those in the inner circle. Like blurbs, which require someone, usually famous, to read a book written by someone else, famous or obscure, and sum it up in a […]

  • Shaikh Zubair, reprise

    Just when you thought the Bard had been claimed by pretty much everybody, here’s a bid from the Sufis: “Shakespeare would have delighted in Sufism,’ said Lings, who is 96 and an adherent of Sufism. ‘We can see he obviously knew a lot about some kind of equivalent sect or order.’ Lings argues that the […]

  • Ed, thank you

    From Edward Champion, The Literary Hipster’s Handbook: “Clarke”: (v.) To write endlessly about a frivolous and often misunderstood topic. (Ex. Friends urged Roger to throw in the towel, but he couldn’t stop Clarking his 800 page epic about two battling pieces of macaroni during the Napoleonic Wars.) “Edinburgh”: An undesirable place to head to, such […]

  • 1942, 42 years later

    Irene Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz in July 1942; she died the next month in the camps. She left a suitcase containing family papers with her daughter, who discovered three decades later that what she’d thought was a journal was actually part of a novel, Suite Francaise. “Now aged 74, Denise Epstein says the book […]

  • Who was that, again?

    I’d decided not to post anything further on the NBA awards shortlist for the very good reason that the authors nominated are so obscure that no bookshop in Delhi is willing to punt on when–if–their novels will ever get here. But the Christian Science Monitor offers a bluffer’s guide to “the strangest, most obscure” set […]