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“Cat Person” | The New Yorker
Margot met Robert on a Wednesday night toward the end of her fall semester. She was working behind the concession stand at the artsy movie theatre downtown when he came in and bought a large popcorn and a box of Red Vines.
fiction  shortfiction  shortstories  literature  kristenroupenian  catperson 
december 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Jeffrey Eugenides, Great American Novelist, Turns to the Story - The New York Times
In 1993, soon after the publication of Jeffrey Eugenides’s first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” my sly and thoughtful high school English teacher handed me a copy. In those days, my knowledge of contemporary literature ended with “The Catcher in the Rye,” so Eugenides’s book came as a thunderclap.
jeffreyeugenides  nytimes  bookreview  books  literature  shortstories 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Hunt for a Good Beginning. Then Write It. - The New York Times
Followers of John McPhee, perhaps the most revered nonfiction narrative journalist of our time, will luxuriate in the shipshape prose of “Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process,” a collection of eight essays that first appeared in The New Yorker, his home for more than 50 years.
writing  books  nonfiction  literature  johnmcphee  nytimes  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
The First Modern President - The New York Times
In his measured, insightful biography, “President McKinley: Architect of the American Century,” Robert W. Merry seeks to set the record straight. He notes that the willful, flamboyant Roosevelt upstaged the staid, placid McKinley. Even Roosevelt’s children joked that he wanted to be “the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral,” and Roosevelt was not above personal derision. When McKinley seemed to hesitate before declaring war on Spain in 1898, Roosevelt is said to have suggested, in a private remark that inevitably became public, that the president’s backbone was “as soft as a chocolate éclair.” (The quip has also been attributed to House Speaker Thomas Reed.) In reality, Merry argues, McKinley was shrewd and patient, wily beneath the bland exterior.
biography  williammckinley  books  literature  nytimes  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Celeste Ng: By the Book - The New York Times
The author of, most recently, “Little Fires Everywhere,” often returns to “The Count of Monte Cristo”: “Right now, I see it as an exploration of the complexities of good and evil and how easily one shifts into the other.
celesteng  nytimes  interview  books  writing  literature  authors  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
After the Hurricane Winds Die Down, Larry McMurtry’s Houston Trilogy Lives On - The New York Times
Some claim the three essential books in Texas history are the Bible, the Warren Commission report and Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove,” his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about 19th-century cattle drives. This last August, as I watched Hurricane Harvey intensify on my TV screen, the 50 inches of rain in Houston breaking national records, I stayed clear of the Book of Revelation and Oswald and instead hunkered down in safe-haven Austin reading McMurtry. Not, however, his western-themed “Lonesome Dove” — set in the Great Plains and Big Sky country — but his underappreciated Houston trilogy of “Moving On” (1970), “All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers” (1972), and “Terms of Endearment” (1975), the best novels ever set in America’s fourth largest city. Additionally, his nonfiction essay collection, “In a Narrow Grave” (1968), remains the gold standard for understanding Houston’s brash rootlessness and civic insecurities.
larrymcmurtry  houstontrilogy  nytimes  bookreview  lonesomedove  allmyfriendsaregoingtobestrangers  movingon  literature  books  writers  houston  texas 
october 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Louis Sachar, the Children’s-Book Author Who Introduced Me to Style | The New Yorker
I first read Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books in second grade, and I felt as if I’d been psychologically recognized, like a neon fetishist discovering Dan Flavin, or a millennial stoner happening upon “Broad City.”
fiction  jiatolentino  thenewyorker  childrensbooks  kidsbooks  books  literature  writing  writers  authors  louissachar 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
A Lot Like Prayer: Remembering Denis Johnson - The New York Times
I was working as an editor at Esquire in 1990 when I sent the novelist and poet Denis Johnson a photograph I’d clipped from The New York Times of a Liberian fighter in the country’s civil war, posing at the edge of a field, resplendently horrific in a wedding gown, cradling an automatic rifle, a woman’s wig perched jauntily atop his head.
denisjohnson  nytimes  books  literature  authors  writing  writers 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
‘A Writer Writes’: Penelope Lively’s Fiction Defies the Test of Time - The New York Times
The British novelist Penelope Lively is fascinated by contingency — the idea that an entire life is shaped by small decisions that seem inconsequential at the time. In 2005, she published a sort of anti-memoir, “Making It Up,” in which she imagined all the different directions her life might have taken.
nytimes  penelopelively  writers  authors  books  literature 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
William Giraldi on life as a bookish bodybuilder: 'It's a poisoned way to be a man' | Books | The Guardian
As a teenager, William Giraldi would pump himself full of steroids, hit the gym ... and secretly read Keats. His new memoir examines the absurdities of modern masculinity and envisages a better world in which his sons don’t get caught in its toxic grip
masculinity  williamgiraldi  reading  literature  theguardian 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Spies Like Us: A Conversation With John le Carré and Ben Macintyre - The New York Times
Their subject is spying. Their obsessions are secrecy and betrayal. They are Englishmen of a certain background, old friends and admirers of each other’s work. One writes novels; the other, nonfiction. They speak in practically perfect sentences.
nytimes  books  literature  johnlecarre  benmacintyre  spynovels  writers 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
L.A.’s Vintage Bookstores - The New York Times
Despite its richly deserved reputation for superficiality, Los Angeles is indeed a reading town, but with a uniquely transactional relationship to books, especially those that are remnants of bygone eras.
nytimes  tmagazine  losangeles  books  bookstores  vintagebooks  oldbooks  antiquarianbooks  usedbookstores  literature 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Childcare - The New Yorker
The cold came late that fall, and the songbirds were caught off guard. By the time the snow and wind began in earnest, too many had been suckered into staying, and instead of flying south, instead of already having flown south, they were huddled in people’s yards, their feathers puffed for some modicum of warmth. I was looking for a babysitting job. I was a student and needed money, so I would walk from interview to interview in these attractive but wintry neighborhoods, past the eerie multitudes of robins pecking at the frozen ground, dun gray and stricken—though what bird in the best of circumstances does not look a little stricken—until at last, late in my search, at the end of a week, startlingly, the birds had disappeared. I did not want to think about what had happened to them. Or, rather, that is an expression—of politeness, a false promise of delicacy—for in fact I wondered about them all the time: imagining them dead, in stunning heaps in some killing cornfield outside of town, or dropped from the sky in twos and threes for miles down along the Illinois state line.
lorriemoore  thenewyorker  fiction  literature  shortstories 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” Fifty Years Later | The New Yorker
The first paragraph of E. L. Konigsburg’s 1967 book “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” about two young runaways who become entangled in an art-historical mystery, is a masterpiece of graceful, efficient exposition
jiatolentino  thenewyorker  elkonigsburg  fromthemixedupfilesofmrsbasilefrankweiler  childrensbooks  books  literature  metropolitanmuseumofart  newyork 
august 2017 by brendanmcfadden
In California, Finding ‘Fat City’ With the Man Who Wrote It - The New York Times
Stockton inspired Leonard Gardner’s acclaimed 1969 novel. On the
streets with him now, it’s clear much has changed. But boxing endures.
leonardgardner  fatcity  stockton  california  boxing  writing  writers  literature  novels  nytimes 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Zadie Smith on the Genius of Graham Greene - The Guardian
Graham Greene, whose centenary is next month, was a more ethically complex novelist than is usually remembered, argues Zadie Smith. The Quiet American, his love story set in the chaos of 1950s Vietnam, shows him to be the greatest journalist there ever was
grahamgreene  literature  literarycriticism  zadiesmith  writers  writing  authors  thequietamerican  theguardian  books 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Paris Review - Robert Creeley, The Art of Poetry No. 10
This is a composite interview. It combines two separate discussions with Robert Creeley—held at different times, and conducted by two different interviewers: Linda Wagner and Lewis MacAdams, Jr. The questions specifically devoted to the poet’s craft were put to Robert Creeley by Linda Wagner. She refers to the exchange as a “colloquy”—a term that Creeley insisted on because (as he put it) her questions were “active in their own assumptions … We are talking together.” She began the exchange at the 1963 Vancouver poetry sessions, continued it at Creeley’s 1964 Bowling Green, Ohio, reading, and finished it in August 1965, at the poet’s home in New Mexico.
robertcreeley  poetry  theparisreview  artofpoetry  writing  literature  interviews 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint
These images, selected from my book Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint, indicate the range and provocation of Cy Twombly’s works on canvas and paper, pointing especially to his inventive use of literary quotation and allusion throughout his long career and his relation to poetry as an inspiration for his art.
theparisreviewblog  cytwombly  art  painting  literature 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Book Review: The Pittsburgh Anthology
It distinguishes itself, however, is not in the sepia-tone renderings of the past or in the current Day-Glo glut of Yinzer boosterism. No, what editor Eric Boyd has chosen to do here is temper all of the Most Livable City rah-rah with essays, stories and poems of a grittier, more complex nature.
pittsburgh  thepittsburghanthology  pittsburghmagazine  literature  shortstories 
november 2015 by brendanmcfadden
The Invisible Hand Behind Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
As Ms. Hohoff saw it, the manuscript was by no means fit for publication. It was, as she described it, “more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel.” During the next couple of years, she led Ms. Lee from one draft to the next until the book finally achieved its finished form and was retitled “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
nytimes  harperlee  tokillamockingbird  writing  literature  publishing  editors  editing  Tay  Hohoff 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
Farther Away
Now that the work was done, though, it was harder to ignore the circumstance that, arguably, in one interpretation of his suicide, David had died of boredom and in despair about his future novels. The desperate edge to my own recent boredom: might this be related to my having broken a promise to myself? The promise that, after I’d finished my book project, I would allow myself to feel more than fleeting grief and enduring anger at David’s death?
jonathanfranzen  davidfosterwallace  thenewyorker  writing  writers  literature 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
Ann Rule's true crime books: what made them so compelling?
She may not have been the best writer, or the sharpest assessor of psychology. But she had a gift for tapping into our collective obsession with crime
books  literature  truecrime  annrule  theguardian 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
The ‘Real’ DFW: Three Visions of David Foster Wallace «
By the time the author David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008, he had already become a myth: a tobacco-chewing, bandanna-wearing genius who suffered under the weight of his own empathy. Since then, three versions of him have entered the picture. One is a 2012 biography by New Yorker writer D.T. Max called Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story. Another is a book by the Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky, called Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Roadtrip With David Foster Wallace, which documents five days of conversation with Wallace as he finishes a tour for Infinite Jest, a novel more famous for its difficulty than for its content.
davidfosterwallace  grantland  books  writers  literature  culture  film  adaptations  criticism 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
What Happened: A Look at Joseph Heller’s Forgotten Novel
THE MOST CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED great novel of the past half century is a book called Something Happened, which this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of its publication
somethinghappened  losangelesreviewofbooks  josephheller  writing  literature  books  novels  novelists  writers 
june 2015 by brendanmcfadden
‘On Such a Full Sea,’ by Chang-rae Lee
Watching a talented writer take a risk is one of the pleasures of devoted reading, and “On Such a Full Sea” provides all that and more.
nytimes  bookreview  onsuchafullsea  changraelee  literature 
february 2015 by brendanmcfadden
A Prisoner’s Reading List
While working as editorial assistant for Applause Theater Books and then an agent associate for Nancy Love Literary Agency, Daniel Genis developed an addiction to heroin, which drove him to commit five robberies with pocketknife during August 2003. In November of the same year he was identified by one of his victims, arrested and eventually convicted of five counts of armed robbery, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
prison  crime  literature  books  writers  thenewyorker  writing 
december 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Believer - Interview with Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner's second novel, 10:04, is narrated by a 33-year-old author who grew up in Topeka, Kansas and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. In the first ten pages we learn he's recently received significant news from both his literary agent and his doctor.
benlerner  writing  writers  literature  thebeliever  10:04  interview 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
A Brooklyn Literary Map: The Best Book for Each Brooklyn Neighborhood
To paraphrase a famous member of the local literary scene, Brooklyn contains multitudes. And perhaps nowhere are those multitudes made more manifest than in the borough’s many neighborhoods, each as different from one another as are the city’s boroughs themselves. Over the years, countless writers have borne witness to the nuances of each neighborhood, celebrating the singular smell of the streets in Bushwick or the way the light washes over the beach in Coney Island. With this map we hope to celebrate much of the best writing set in the borough; neighborhood by neighborhood, these novels, essays, and poems reflect the specific time and place in which they are set, and in doing so, beautifully demonstrate the multitudes that make up Brooklyn as a whole, multi-faceted as it is now, and has always been.
books  literature  brooklyn  brooklynmagazine 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson
This June, as a grandfather clock rang the quarter-hour in her modest Iowa City living room, the American novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, a woman of 70 who speaks in sentences that accumulate into polished paragraphs, made a confession: “I hate to say it, but I think a default posture of human beings is fear.” Perched on the edge of a sofa, hands loosely clasped, Robinson leaned forward as if breaking bad news to a gentle heart. “What it comes down to — and I think this has become prominent in our culture recently — is that fear is an excuse: ‘I would like to have done something, but of course I couldn’t.’ Fear is so opportunistic that people can call on it under the slightest provocations: ‘He looked at me funny.’ ”
nytimes  nytimesmag  marilynnerobinson  writing  writers  literature 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Even Bank Robbers Decide What Tie To Wear: The Essence Of Elmore Leonard
Hard to imagine having a cooler job than the one Gregg Sutter had for more than 30 years, when he served as the late Elmore Leonard's researcher. Sutter is the editor of the Library of America's Elmore Leonard anthology, which will be released in three volumes, the first of which was published a few weeks ago
thestacks  deadspin  elmoreleonard  interview  greggsutter  writing  literature  fiction 
september 2014 by brendanmcfadden
How To Handle A Repo: Chapter 1 Of Elmore Leonard's Unknown Man No. 89
Elmore Leonard had been writing for 22 years when his agent, the legendary H.N. Swanson, told him to read George V. Higgins's seminal crime novel about the Boston underworld, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. This was in 1972; Leonard was 46. He'd worked in advertising and written westerns—stories and novels—and he'd also written screenplays and the scripts for industrial films. But after reading Higgins and his expositionless, dialogue-heavy style, Leonard learned how to "loosen up" and "get into scenes quicker," and he found his voice as he turned to the crime fiction that would make him famous—beginning with a series of books set in Detroit. These novels make up the first of three volumes devoted to Leonard's writing by the Library of America. Volume one features 52 Pick-Up, Swag, Unknown Man No. 89, and The Switch
elmoreleonard  unknownmanno89  writing  fiction  deadspin  thestacks  literature 
september 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Finishing Carpenter
Jonathan Lethem on Editing Don Carpenter’s Final Manuscript
jonathanlethem  doncarpenter  theparisreview  writing  writers  literature  fridayatenricos 
august 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Invisible Bridge
Consider 1975. There were 89 terrorist bombings on American soil; two assassination attempts, 19 days apart, on President Gerald Ford; and a Gallup poll finding that 75 percent of American women were afraid to walk near their homes at night.
books  literature  nytimes  theinvisiblebridge  rickperlstein  politics  republican  campaigns 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Secrets of the Stacks
How libraries decide which books to keep—and which don’t stand the test of time
libary  medium  books  literature  archives 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Art of Fiction No. 77, Nadine Gordimer
“I come to America, I go to England, I go to France…nobody’s at risk. They’re afraid of getting cancer, losing a lover, losing their jobs, being insecure. … It’s only in my own country that I find people who voluntarily choose to put everything at risk—in their personal life.”
nadinegordimer  theparisreview  interview  writing  writers  literature 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Thomas Berger, ‘Little Big Man’ Author, Is Dead at 89
Mr. Berger was known as the author of “Little Big Man” and books that explored the American West, but his body of work was broader than that.
writers  writer  literature  nytimes  thomasberger  obituary 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Quit Thinking, You’re Hurting the Club
JIm Brosnan broke into the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in the mid-fifties and labored on four different teams during his undistinguished career, retiring in 1963 with an overall record of fifty-five wins and forty-seven losses. He sported thick, round glasses on the mound and stocked his locker with books by the likes of John Cheever and James Thurber. His teammates took to calling him “professor.”
baseball  sports  theparisreview  thelongseason  literature  writing  jimbrosnan 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Book On Publishing
There was the author, Chad Harbach, who had spent a decade on a novel his friends thought he’d never finish. There was the agent, Chris Parris-Lamb, who recognized its power. There was the editor, Little, Brown’s Michael Pietsch, who won it in a high-stakes auction. With the story of one book, The Art of Fielding Keith Gessen examines the state of the troubled, confused, and ever unpredictable world of U.S. book publishing in the age of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and e-readers.
vanityfair  publishing  writing  writers  literature  books  theartoffielding  chadharbach  keithgessen  n+1 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Andy
For E. B. White’s readers and family, a sense of trust came easily.
ebwhite  thenewyorker  rogerangell  writing  writers  literature 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Three-Eight Charlie
Three-Eight Charlie is the story of Jerrie Mock’s record-setting flight as the first woman to solo around the world in 1964 in a single-engine Cessna 180. It’s an insightful and well written account that includes intrigue and heroism, and discusses the cultures and geography of the world at the time. This book is a great read for aviation enthusiasts as well as young people, and anyone with big dreams.
homage  paperback  book  literature  jerriemock  flight  airplanes  1964  history 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
I Am A.E. Peoria
The late Michael Hastings wrote a novel about the last days of Newsweek—and based the main character on me.
novels  writing  journalism  michaelhastings  newsweek  slate  literature 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Horsemen, Goodbye
THOUGHTS ON THE GRADUAL MARCH OF CIVILITY AND URBAN SPRAWL ACROSS THE LOST FRONTIER.
texasmonthly  larrymcmurtry  texas  literature  writing  thewest 
may 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Victory Lap
The first story from Tenth of December.
shortstory  literature  georgesaunders 
december 2013 by brendanmcfadden
True West
Twenty-five years ago, Larry McMurtry published a novel called Lonesome Dove—and Texas hasn’t looked the same since.
lonesomedove  larrymcmurtry  texas  literature 
april 2013 by brendanmcfadden
The Passion of Lew Wallace
The incredible story of how a disgraced Civil War general became one of the best-selling novelists in American history.
history  books  slate  literature  writing  writers 
april 2013 by brendanmcfadden
Judy Blume: Three Essays by Nell Beram, Nina Berry and Andrea Kleine
A roundtable discussion about Judy Blume featuring Nell Beram, Nina Berry and Andrea Kleine.
youngadult  childrensbooks  books  literature  writers  lareviewofbooks  judyblume 
november 2012 by brendanmcfadden
What Would DFW Do
Maria Bustillos, Eric Been, And Mike Goetzman On "Both Flesh And Not" And All Things Foster Wallace
lareviewofbooks  literature  writing  davidfosterwallace 
november 2012 by brendanmcfadden
The Gorey Details
“So what exactly is this thing called ‘Gorey,’ and why has he/it remained so popular?"
illustrations  books  literature  losangelesreviewofbooks  edwardgorey 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Amis and Larkin: Hate in a Cold Climate
Kingsley Amis’s novel Lucky Jim has its origins in his intense and competitive friendship with Philip Larkin.
luckyjim  kingsleyamis  philiplarkin  newstatesman  books  writers  writing  literature 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Joan Didion, The Art of Nonfiction No. 1
I can’t ask anything. Once in a while if I’m forced into it I will conduct an interview, but it’s usually pro forma, just to establish my credentials as somebody who’s allowed to hang around for a while. It doesn’t matter to me what people say to me in the interview because I don’t trust
writers  literature  theparisreview  nonfiction  interview  writing  joandidion 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Blane and Andie, 25 Years Later
Andrew McCarthy’s memoir and Molly Ringwald’s novel suggest how hard it is to love like characters in movies.
BratPack  books  literature  slate 
september 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Fridays at Enrico’s
AN OLD MASTER OF HARD-BOILED PROSE HAS FINALLY COME BACK INTO PRINT. (HIS UNPUBLISHED MASTERPIECE REMAINS UNPUBLISHED.)
thebeliever  literature  writing  writer  doncarpenter 
august 2012 by brendanmcfadden
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