This week, we caught our first peek at the beautiful American paperback edition of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, arranged as a mini box set and designed by John Gall (the guy behind pretty much all of the American paperbacks of Murakami’s books). Since Chip Kidd’s hardcover design was so amazing, we have to say that we’re impressed and excited that the paperback version is living up to it. To tide us over until the book is actually in our hands, we’ve taken a look at a few other beautiful box sets — from the simple to the extravagant — that we totally covet for our shelves. Click through to drool along with us, and let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More
This week, the always excellent Everyman’s Library released a gorgeous new printing of Phillip Pullman’s epic fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials. Not only is it a beautiful edition, but it’s the first time that the three books have been published in one volume, so it is quite a neat little package. Inspired by Pullman’s wonderfully evocative new cover, we’ve collected a few other utterly gorgeous book cover redesigns for your viewing pleasure. Many of these are full backlist redesigns — after all, there’s something magical about a set of books designed to be together — but all of them are, we think, rather glorious. Click through to feast your eyes on these redesigned books, and let us know if we’re missed any of your favorites in the comments! … Read More
The Atlantic Wire just posted the most recent installment of their always fascinating Media Diet feature, and this week’s subject is none other than self-proclaimed “reading junkie” Margaret Atwood. The Canadian literary diva reveals that “she [doesn't] like news too early in the day,” reads before bed even though it has been known to give her nightmares, and subscribes to too many magazines — most of them literary. While we find these details fascinating, we’re always more interested in combing through the column to find out what books our favorite writers are reading. Click through to find out what’s currently on Atwood’s bedside table, as well as some other reading suggestions culled from recent contributors in the archive. … Read More
We were a little bit late in reading Jorian Polis Schutz’s analysis of manly manes in the last issue of Cabinet, titled “Barbers and Barbarians,” but we’re glad we did. Schultz writes, “The savage impulse must withstand the perennial opposition of forces for shortness — for there is always a national mythology of hair to grow out of and into.” This got us thinking about great writers’ hairstyles through time, from ancient Greek poets to the conceited French intellectuals of today. If hair doth make the man, then the following writers stand against the grain in these times, acting as iconoclastic reminders that one can still be manly (perhaps even more so) with an irrepressible hairdo. So let your hair down and enjoy the following modern scribes’ tangled tresses. … Read More
There were innumerable notable essays written between 1961 and today. However, even though it’s a crazy idea to attempt to make a top ten list of the pieces that shaped the era, that’s what we do at Flavorpill — so go with it, and tell us what we left out in the comments section below. This post was inspired by the University of Iowa’s nonfiction Essay Prize, which is “given each year to the work that best exemplifies the art of essaying — inquiry, experimentation, discovery, and change.” Get more details on the 2011 nominees here. … Read More
1. The New York Times asks where all of the quote-worthy movie moments have disappeared to in the aughts. Maybe Hollywood screenwriters have simply run out of annoying catchphrases.
2. Jon Stewart is expanding his “Rally to Restore Sanity” to the West Coast. The satellite event will be held in Los Angeles… Read More
All week, the media world has been buzzing over a New Yorker profile of Gawker mogul Nick Denton packed with harsh quotes and anecdotes from his current and former employees, along with no small number of Denton’s own zingers. Strangely, his isn’t the only piece on a controversial journalist to appear this week. The Daily Beast has run a profile on Cathy Horyn, the Times writer it characterizes as “fashion’s most feared critic.”
It’s natural for media types to be fascinated with their own kind, and articles on those who have become especially divisive can generate juicy headlines. (Of course, sometimes they also say more about the personality writing the piece than the one being profiled.) After the jump, we take a look at the Denton and Horyn clips, plus eight more profiles of controversial journalists. … Read More
Excellent authors avoid writing cliches. The problem is that some of these very authors do not apply the same level of vigilance when it comes to taking promotional photographs, whether they’re for magazine profiles or back-of-the-book biographies. In an attempt to look uniquely profound yet accessible, or convey some novel combination of deep thoughts with good times, a lot of writers end up looking exactly the same as their peers. It doesn’t matter if the authors are well-established or just scheduling their first panel discussion — all are susceptible to producing hackneyed images.
Since we don’t expect authors to be virtuosos in every medium, we thought we’d take a critical look at five categories of promotional-author photography as a warning for all future writers who want to break out of the formula. … Read More
Here’s a challenge: Can you identify some of contemporary literature’s most famous voices from just six words of their life story? We’ve pulled some of our favorite pithy memoirs from It All Changed in an Instant (SMITH Magazine’s new sequel to Not Quite What I Was Planning), and blacked out the attribution to make things interesting. If you’re feeling stumped, don’t feel bad (and look at the tags on this post for hints), some of them are deceptively simple.
So would you believe me anyway? – James Frey
Heart fattens, skin thins. Who knew? – Sloane Crosley … Read More