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It's the Books, Stupid

I’m not quite as down on electronic reading devices as some, but this was still a welcome reminder:

Personally, I maintain that if the industry would focus more on putting out better books, they’d sell more books. Likewise, if the books are compelling enough, readers will be happy to read them on almost any format — from Palm Pilot (which I did with Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections) to the iPad (which I plan to do with Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom when it is published this August).

Of course, publishing is far from the only industry to be dazzled by the magic technological bullet (banking, anyone?), but I get the sense that a lot of people either involved in publishing or involved in reading would like to shift focus back to what really matters.

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The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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