There has been much discussion on the Internet about gender distribution in the bylines of high-profile journals and magazines after the release of the 2012 VIDA Count. Most of the publications surveyed published a laughably small number of women compared to men — perhaps most notably Harper’s, whose ratio surprised many, including the editors of more gender-equitable magazines who we recently interviewed. So, maybe they just need a few suggestions of great lady essayists to solicit for contributions? (Forget that they should already be well aware of these women.) Great. We have… Read More
In honor of National Novel Writing Month, here’s advice from thirteen famous writers on how to conquer dreaded writer’s block and get your 50,000 words on the page before December… Read More
With the power outages and public transport shutdowns in NYC surrounding this week’s hurricane, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days curled up reading by candlelight. If you too have used the bad weather as an excuse to tear through your to-read pile, you’re in luck — November is full of opportunities to replenish it. This month, we have a lot of short stories on our plate, in addition to meditations on the hallucinatory and a posthumous collection of essays from one of our very favorite people. Click through to see the books on our must-read list for November, and let us know which ones will be keeping you inside this month in the comments. … Read More
Michel Houellebecq, France’s enfant terrible, has just released a pop song titled, “Le Film Du Dimanche” (The Sunday Film), available here. However, this isn’t his first effort at songwriting. In 2000, he released Présence Humaine, a nine-song album with funky keyboards and even some handclaps. And on a related side note, his 2005 novel The Possibility of an Island was the inspiration for Iggy Pop’s Préliminaires album. We first wrote about the crossover between writers and musicians back in 2009, but with the release of Houellebecq’s new single, it seems high time for another look at the phenomenon. … Read More
This year has been marked by a number of high-profile book releases. Jonathan Franzen’s epic suburban opus Freedom was heralded as “the last great American novel,” Jay-Z fought to have hip-hop lyrics acknowledged by poetry aficionados in Decoded, Patti Smith’s emotional and brilliant Just Kids won a National Book Award, Stephen King returned to the art of taut, disturbing short stories, and a whole slew of celebrities released tripe we’d rather not get into here.
Smaller presses, meanwhile, have also had a banner year, but with the rush of media directing the average book buyer’s attention, it’s easy for lower profile publishers to get lost in the shuffle. To help spotlight these lesser known but equally deserving publishing houses, here are five small-press titles that stand out among the best books released in 2010. Please share any other recommendations from the past year in the comments. … Read More