Monday, November 24, 2003

Good morning 

Ack, I feel like I'm late this morning, an odd sensation since I'm neither employed nor attending classes. But to wit:

The New York Times reviews Amy Tan's THE OPPOSITE OF FATE, features a revealing interview with National Book Award winner Carlos Eire, and Michiko is up to her usual tricks again, calling Harry Mulisch's novel about Hitler "sensationalistic" and "nothing more than a potboiler."

Croatian novelist Dubravka Urgesic is a rather cranky woman, and especially didn't care for Stephen King's NBA award, saying that had he been in Russia he would have won the Stalin Prize:

"King's award is not a surprise but a logical consequence of contemporary literary professionalism, which -- like socialist realism -- demands that a writer clench his teeth and write within the framework of the given norm or else end up, if not in a prison camp, then in his own personal ghetto of anonymity and poverty. The symbolic meaning of King's award is a Fall of the Literary Wall: a final unification, not of good and bad literature but of literature and trash."

Er, ouch.

The Guardian runs a long profile on Andrew Wylie, who has pissed off lots of people (including Tibor Fischer, who took more shots at Wylie in his infamous review of YELLOW DOG than he did of Martin Amis, really) in his long career. Frankly, he doesn't come off so well.

DH Lawrence's paintings are on display--more than 70 years after they were first banned for obscenity.

Patrick Anderson reviews John Marks' WAR TORN, a novel with "depth and richness" that he likes very, very much.

The literary world showed great respect for agent Giles Gordon, as there was a strong turnout, including author Ian Rankin, for his funeral a few days ago:

"He seemed indestructible," said Rankin with a shake of the head. "He was great to meet up for lunch with, as he was a fountain of good gossip. Although he was never my agent, he worked for my publishers, and I’ve known him for years through Allan Massie from as far back as university days. Allan was right when he said that Giles always kept something of the boy about him. He was such a big part of life here that he will be sorely missed."

When it comes to writers, we want to know everything, no matter how esoteric or seemingly unimportant. In short, are writers like the rest of us (answer: yes, very much so, if not more boring. Sorry.) Tom Payne investigates the matter further.

January Magazine reviews Leonard Koppett's new baseball book. As it happens, it will be his last, as Koppett died earlier this year.

And finally, The Globe and Mail interviews Samantha Bee, the newest "correspondent" on THE DAILY SHOW. They talk a lot about the Asian porn segment, which finally aired last week. Although I know that several fans aren't so keen on her, I like her with every segment she does. She's getting better and is a good counterbalance to the guys, who incidentally, all seem to look the same, don't they? (btw this is my obligatory Daily Show reference of the day. Be glad it wasn't a gushing comment about Jon Stewart. That gets kind of old. Maybe in a few days...)

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