Apparently the abomination is over: as Michael points out, the market has spoken, and it hates the original paperback covers for My Struggle, so FSG has gone with a change of design. Here’s how they compare.
Old (Lord have mercy!!):
True, these new covers are boring as hell and reflect the InDesign skills of roughly 95% of current high school seniors, but, by God, I think at this point we’ll all gladly accept non-offensively dull over the carnival-madman-vomit aesthetic of the originals.
I admit, I’m sad in . . . continue reading, and add your comments
A very insightful reading of Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? at The Point.
Sheila and Margaux suffer from complementary forms of philosophical confusion. Sheila’s tendency to think of the self primarily in external terms, which never translate into what she wants them to be internally, is met by Margaux’s strong sense of her inner self, which in turn is threatened when translated into the outside world. How Should a Person Be? is hence more than a simple self-help book masquerading as a novel. Rather, it imaginatively stages both sides of a profound philosophical problem: Where . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Calamari Press has recently reissued the long-out-of-print Travel Notes (from here—to there) by Stanley Crawford (whom you might recognize as the author of the Log of the S.S. the Mrs Unguentine).
The LARB has a nice review of this book that doubles as an overview on Crawford:
STANLEY CRAWFORD’S CAREER has been as strange and surreal as many of his novels. As a young writer in the 1960s, published by such powerhouses as Simon & Schuster and Knopf, Crawford found that the all-powerful New York Times book section of the day met his books with . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Long-time readers to this blog know that I very, very rarely talk about books that are not directly related to literary fiction in this space. There are various reasons for that, but it’s a practice that I’ve tried to keep pretty consistent here.
So, it’s kind of a big deal that I’m going to go all out and beg you to read Capital in the 21st Century.And I’ll even make you this promise—yes, this is a book about economics that mostly deals with income inequality, but it also tells a compelling, genuinely new story about the 20th century. . . . continue reading, and add your comments
James Wood at The New Yorker:
“POLITICAL WORK OUGHT TO BE CONCRETE”: this is one of the rousing Soviet mottos recalled in Sergei Dovlatov’s novel, The Zone. Ironically, it is also what is said about good writing, and can one think of a more concrete contemporary writer than Dovlatov? Sentences compacted to aphoristic ingots: “One is born either poor or rich. Money has almost nothing to do with it.” Paradox, sharp wit, and swift one-liners: “Boris sober and Boris drunk are such different people, they’ve never even met.” Or: “What could I say to him? What do you . . . continue reading, and add your comments
So a little background: the poet Laura Simms is publishing this book called Fare Forward, which is basically her correspondence with the great innovative novelist David Markson. She recently did an event with Ann Beattie at The Strand where she discussed the book and Markson in general.
Here’s the video from the event. Definitely a thing to check out for the Markson fans in the audience.
Anyone who buys Kindle books is giving Amazon the right to steal what they think is their property at any moment Amazon wants. There’s no reason to do it when you can generally get an ePub file without a lot of extra hassle.
According to Martin Bekkelund, a Norwegian Amazon customer identified only as Linn had her Kindle access revoked without warning or explanation. Her account was closed, and her Kindle was remotely wiped. Bekkelund has posted a string of emails that he says were sent to Linn by the company. They are a sort of Kafkaesque . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Let the PR flacks at Random House write about him.
“The Bone Clocks” will be, Random House writes, “a stunning epic that follows Holly Sykes, who runs away from her home in Southwest England in 1984 and 60 years later is raising her granddaughter on the coast of Ireland, as almost everything about her world has changed forever. In between Holly and the people who love her move between the Swiss alps in 1991, war-torn Baghdad in 2004, and New York a decade in the future, where she joins a band of vigilantes in a supernatural war between . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Adam Z. Levy covers Hilda Hilst at Music & Literature. Definitely one of the more interesting discoveries of the past year or so. The most recent one to be translated is With My Dog-Eyes, publishing later this month from Melville House.
By the time of her death, in 2004, Hilda Hilst had garnered fame for the whole of her oeuvre—including Brazil’s most prestigious literary prizes—and notoriety for the filthiness of her final books. Her body of work, which includes poetry, plays, and prose, is as wide-ranging as it is defiantly avant-garde, yet, despite the accolades, her writing—and . . . continue reading, and add your comments
There seems to be a tiny bit of confusion so here’s the deal:
1. Archipelago is doing the hardcovers, FSG is doing the paperbacks.
2. However, Archipelago started publishing Knausgaard before this agreement was made, so they actually did a paperback of Book 1, which has since been discontinued.
3. Yes, the FSG covers are ugly as fuck. True fact: I’ve never met anyone who liked them. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t violently hate them. If anyone can explain them to us, please enlighten us. (Apologies to the designer, whom I’m sure is a . . . continue reading, and add your comments