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Monday, February 23, 2004

Monday Morning roundup 

The top story, obviously, is Naomi Wolf vs. Harold Bloom. The New York cover piece is up, and responses and additional reports are starting to trickle in as well.

Oh, it's the loveliest thing when people slag their exes. It's especially interesting when both are dead, and one happened to be a famous author already the subject of controversial biographies. Who's that, you say? Why, none other than Iris Murdoch, the subject of a brutal vivisection by the posthumous (and published without permission) memoirs of Elias Canetti, who had a three-year affair with Murdoch in the 1950s. In the memoir, Canetti attacks her personality, her intellect and writing, and her ability in bed. Which begs the question: if a memoir is written and no one's supposed to read it, should it be published in the first place?

Horace Silver was once a feared gangster, inches away from death or prison or worse. Now he's turned to crime-writing in his debut novel (out now from the Do-Not Press), a barely-fictionalized account of his life in gangs, naming names (of sorts) and shining a light on a shadowy world. Tony Thompson speaks to him.

Janet Maslin looks at two teenage memoirs by Alison Smith and Martha Tod Dudman. She likes both, but for different reasons; Smith's is more literary and gut-wrenching but Dudman excels on the little details.

Patrick Anderson digs the latest 87th Precinct novel. Well, what other reaction can there be to McBain? He is a master, after all.

Jon Jordan, who has interviewed more crime writers than anyone I can think of, has a few more that have just been posted. Read about Blake Crouch's somewhat complicated route to publication, Don Harstad's writing style and his thoughts, as an ex-cop, on cop shows, and Bill Crider's take on his long and extremely prolific career. And, of course, we get to find out what in these writers' refrigerators.

While another ace interviewer of crime writers, Craig MacDonald, has just posted one he did last month with Tim Dorsey, whose latest book, CADILLAC BEACH, is out now.

Walter Mosley's appearance at Left Coast Crime over the weekend is described in the Monterey Herald. By all accounts, the convention as a whole was a big success, with over 800 registrants, a record number for LCC.

The latest book by New Mexico native Judith Van Gieson is reviewed in her local paper, the Albuquerque Journal.

Suzi Feay of the Independent interviews David Mitchell, one of the "least controversial" members of Granta's Best Young Writers list.

Rosemary Goring comments, somewhat archly, on Edwin Morgan's appointment as the first Scottish Poet Laureate.

A collection of rare books and manuscripts that chart Melbourne's developing history and valued at $50 000 (AUS) is now up for auction.

And finally, the Toronto Star goes gaga for David Daniels, counter-tenor to the stars. Me, I like this guy better. Although he doesn't get nearly as much recognition as Daniels does, his voice is really quite good, especially on oratorio repetoire.

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