Critical Reads April 27, 2012: The Vindication Edition
This week Jennifer Egan proves she's earned her keep, authors give the finger, an unexpected source establishes a new literary award, novellas make a comeback, and the world gets a free books bonanza.
Jennifer Egan talks pre-Pulitzer challenges, writing process, and big prizes. According to Egan, she doesn't insert autobiographical tidbits; she will "body-snatch." Who knew Egan was so sci-fi?
Authors have a way with words- and insults- ahem, Gore Vidal. When it comes to these literary excoriations, you will read it and weep. Our favorite? James Gould Cozzens on John Steinbeck: "I can't read ten pages of Steinbeck without throwing up. I couldn't read the proletariat crap that came out in the '30s."
The Pulitzer may have snubbed literature this year, but Mayor Bloomberg is unveiling a new prize to recognize New York writers, the N.Y.C. Literary Honors. For the initial round of awards, winners will include Brooklyn-phile Paul Auster and YA homecoming king Walter Dean Myers.
The Return of the Novella, the Original #Longread (The Atlantic)
Novellas, the Marcia Brady of the publishing world, have of late been treated by many in the publishing industry as literature in identity crises- not quite short stories and not quite novels. But Melville House is calling Goldilocks with a new series, "The Art of the Novella." The covers look nice too.
If It's Free, Take It: 2012 World Book Night (The Millions)
Let's get the non-readers reading and readers giving more (free) books away! That's the point of World Book Night anyway, a literacy movement holiday, which involves readers giving their less book-friendly acquaintances free books to get ‘em hooked on the samples, kind of like those Red Bull girls in the bikinis. Evidently you can't be given books if you already read regularly, so remember, kids: next year, lie!
** Part of our Critical Reads series.
Books News By Tracy O’Neill
Our Friday morning roundup of the best literary reads of… >>