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brendanmcfadden : writers   49

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
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
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
The Novelist Disguised As a Housewife
Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children — and she couldn’t have had a successful career without them.
shirleyjackson  newyorkmagazine  writers  writing  novelists  thecut  women  motherhood 
october 2016 by brendanmcfadden
The Elitist Allure of Joan Didion
A big biography looks at the author’s legacy of cool.
theatlantic  joandidion  writers  writing  culture 
february 2016 by brendanmcfadden
The Self-Destructive Spiral of Truman Capote After Answered Prayers
“La Côte Basque 1965,” the first installment of Truman Capote’s planned roman à clef, Answered Prayers, dropped like a bomb on New York society when it appeared in Esquire’s November 1975 issue. Iced out by the friends he’d skewered—such of his “swans” as Slim Keith, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Babe Paley—Capote began his slide into an early grave. Sam Kashner pursues the scandal’s mysteries, including the fate of the unfinished manuscript.
vanityfair  trumancapote  writing  writers  culture 
february 2016 by brendanmcfadden
Lucia Berlin’s Roving, Rowdy Life Is Reflected in a Book of Her Stories
“In order to write about life, first you must live it.” That’s often attributed to Hemingway, and he would have applauded Lucia Berlin, who made fiction from her life and had a surplus of raw material.
nytimes  fiction  writers  writing  shortfiction  shortstories  luciaberlin 
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
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
"Mad Men" Creator Matthew Weiner's Reassuring Life Advice For Struggling Artists
In Getting There: A Book of Mentors, the lauded creator candidly reveals his years of struggle—and his eventual path to success.
writing  writers  screenwriting  matthewweiner  madmen  art  artists  fastcompany 
april 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
'Am I Being Catfished?' An Author Confronts Her Number One Online Critic
When a bad review of her first novel appeared online, Kathleen Hale was warned not to respond. But she soon found herself wading in
author  authors  essay  psychology  writers  writing  criticism  internet  socialmedia  technology  blogs  theguardian  kathleenhale 
october 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
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
Finishing Carpenter
Jonathan Lethem on Editing Don Carpenter’s Final Manuscript
jonathanlethem  doncarpenter  theparisreview  writing  writers  literature  fridayatenricos 
august 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
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
For E. B. White’s readers and family, a sense of trust came easily.
ebwhite  thenewyorker  rogerangell  writing  writers  literature 
june 2014 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
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
How Do You Explain Gene Weingarten?
He’s juvenile and more than a little crazy. Friends say he barely copes with day-to-day life. He also happens to be one hell of a writer.
writers  pulitzer  washingtonpost  washingtonian  geneweingarten 
may 2012 by brendanmcfadden

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