Saturday, November 01, 2003

News, reviews, short stories, and more 

Laura Miller is everywhere, dammit. But she makes some interesting points in looking at the short story, and why it doesn't sell nearly as well as editors would like. Sure, there's always a glamour collection--Nell Freudenberger being this year's, Adam Haslett last year's, and so on--but generally, unless the collection is sold alongside a novel, many are hesitant to touch it. She brings up several of the "Best American" anthologies but forgets the one that offers some wonderfully plotted, well-executed stories--the Best American Mystery Short Stories (this year edited by Michael Connelly.)

Miller also takes her best shot at Toni Morrison's new novel (which was already panned by Michiko.)

Other books reviewed today at the NYT include a new translation of Don Quixote, the latest (and oft-reviewed) from Ann-Marie MacDonald, David Guterson's new book, and George Pelecanos compares and contrasts two new books about the Sniper attacks last year.

And of course, there's Stasio. The verdicts this week? BLOW FLY is panned for being "incoherent," she adores Ruth Rendell's latest Wexford (which was actually released in the UK last year), appreciates Donald Harstad's "ambitious plan" for his series (the latest of which is A LONG DECEMBER), and thinks Val McDermid's new book is "cunningly plotted." So 3 raves and 1 pan, that's not a bad record at all.

Over at the Guardian, there's a very long profile on Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell. Had no idea that Ingmar Bergman was his father-in-law. Must make for interesting conversations....

Zadie Smith gushes about E.M. Forster, and Nicholas Lezard enjoys a new anthology of essays called Modern British Fiction.

Jiro Kimura reports that T. Jefferson Parker won the 2003 Southern California booksellers Association Book Award for COLD PURSUIT, his latest novel. Congratulations, Jeff!

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