Publisher’s Weekly has asked readers to identify the Great American Novel. Fun! While we have no beef with the books on their list, we did notice that only two of the options — Edward P. Jones’s The Known World and Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — were published in the last decade. Are there no more than two worthy contenders for Great American Novel status from recent years? We think there are. Here are ten books published since 2003 that should at least be in the running for that shifty, subjective Great American Novel… Read More
If killer short story collections, triumphant returns, and more delicious-sounding novels than you can shake a stick at sounds like a good thing to you, then 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for new… Read More
It’s probably fair to say that few people outside Ireland and/or the literary world will have heard of the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. The prize is awarded annually by the Dublin City Council and a company called Impac (they’re a “productivity improvement company”, apparently) for the best novel published two years prior to the… Read More
There are many ways we can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day: go on a bender, kiss everyone in sight, projectile vomit into some shrubbery, be the bastard who pinches someone for not wearing an appropriate amount of green, or all of the above. In addition to the general acts of vandalism and stupidity that will take place in a matter of hours, we suggest you pick up a copy of The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story, edited by Anne Enright. We’ve come up with a list of ten contemporary Irish authors you need to know, because they’re masters of their craft, and because you’re going to need a big book to hide under when you commute to work tomorrow.
As Enright writes in the introduction: “If Ireland loves you, then you must be doing something wrong.” Here’s to the dreamers, the misanthropes, and the lonely souls contained in this collection, and long live the short story. … Read More
Setting down the right words to describe the magic of sleeping under one cool sheet or making s’mores around a bonfire is easier said than done. In case this triple-digit hot spell isn’t enough of an initiation into the dog days of summer for you, here are our top picks for novels where the essence of the season was done justice. Leave a comment if your favorite summer read didn’t make our list. … Read More
New York-based singer Joe Hurley collaborated with National Book Award winner Colum McCann to write “The House that Horse Built” (Let the Great World Spin), a 12-minute track inspired by a chapter in McCann’s novel, Let the Great World Spin. The limited edition CD was produced by Don Fleming (Sonic Youth, Pete Yorn, Nancy Sinatra, Hunter S. Thompson) and is currently available for download here.
If you live in New York, check out the album release party on December 8th at Joe’s… Read More
1. Colum McCann‘s Let the Great World Spin won the fiction prize last night at the 60th annual National Book Awards; T.J. Stiles’ biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, The First Tycoon, was the nonfiction winner. [via AP]
2. Shaquille O’Neal will curate an art show about scale called Size DOES Matter for New York’s… Read More
1. Two new piano works found in his sister’s music notebook have been attributed to an elementary school-age Mozart. [via NYT]
2. Funny People topped the weekend box office with the smallest number-one draw of the summer causing many to wonder, is Apatow’s hot streak over? [via THR]
3. Steven Spielberg… Read More