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The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:


Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

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You Say

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  • Will: Salman rushdie is a microscopic crapule on the asshole of th
  • Henry: I think the fireworks may come from the fact that these auth
  • Paul: Vanessa Place's 'La Medusa' seems like an American authored
  • Lance: I agree with you about the state of American fiction and I b

Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

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Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.


Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


  • A Treatise on Shelling Beans by Wiesław Myśliwski March 9, 2014
    A man enters a house and asks to buy some beans, but we aren’t given his question, only the response: humble surprise from the narrator and an invitation inside. This modesty, though it remains at the core of the narrator throughout, is quickly overwhelmed when his questions, his welcoming explanations, flow into an effort to tell his whole life story, from […]
  • The Gorgeous Nothings by Emily Dickinson, edited by Marta Werner and Jen Bervin March 9, 2014
    The Gorgeous Nothings, the dedicated work of visual artist Jen Bervin and author Marta Werner, presents in large format the first full-color publication of all fifty-two of Emily Dickinson’s envelope writings. As such, it opens up an aspect of her craft that suggests she was, in the so-called late ecstatic period of her career, experimenting with creating te […]
  • The Mehlis Report by Rabee Jaber March 9, 2014
    The Mehlis Report follows the architect Saman Yarid on his daily perambulations around Lebanon's capital, where his memories of the city's past and his observations of the high-rises that have emerged from the ruins of the nation's civil war dominate the faint plot. But the book transcends Beirut: Jaber writes about what is left behind when pe […]
  • The Fiddler of Driskill Hill by David Middleton March 9, 2014
    Middleton’s sensibility as poet and man is thoroughly Christian, Southern (or rather, Louisianan), and traditional, but he’s no unreconstructed romantic Rebel reliving the Civil War. His manner is meditative and elegiac, not rancorous or redneck. In a rare useful blurb on the back of the book, the North Carolina poet and novelist Fred Chappell describes Midd […]
  • The Fata Morgana Books by Jonathan Littell March 9, 2014
    After The Kindly Ones, the nine hundred-page long Goncourt Prize-winning “autobiography” of a Nazi, fans of the Franco-American writer Jonathan Littell may heave an inward sigh of relief at the sight of The Fata Morgana Books. A slim collection of “studies” (as some of these stories were called in their original French incarnations), The Fata Morgana Books n […]
  • Novelty: A History of the New by Michael North March 9, 2014
    There is no better way to ensure the early demise of a form or a style than to proclaim its newness; fewer epithets are as old as “new.” A well-known work by Italian artist Maurizio Nannucci reads, “All art has been contemporary”—we may wish to amend it, for present purposes, and have it read, “All art has been new.” Yet surely this is something of a truism. […]
  • A Life Among Invented Characters: A Tribute to Mavis Gallant March 9, 2014
    Two things immediately come to mind when remembering Mavis Gallant: her unique sense of humor—stories always told with a wry half-smile—and her near-comical stonewalling when confronted with leading questions about her craft in interviews and with audiences. The first time I was in her simple three-room apartment on rue Jean Ferrandi, a mere three blocks fro […]
  • The Guy Davenport Reader March 9, 2014
    Poet-critic. Think of that word, made of two—what a beaux construction. The first is wild, hair mussed, looking at a bird in a tree—yet the follower is practical, urbane, and seemingly obeisant to word counts. Together they bleach out the fusspot academic and appeal to logos—Davenport once said that he was “not writing for scholars or critics, but for people […]
  • [SIC] by Davis Schneiderman March 9, 2014
    In 2011 Andrew Gallix, in the Guardian, wrote a piece on unread difficult books, and mentioned “an anthology of blank books [edited by Michael Gibbs] entitled All Or Nothing,” and we can consider Blank as continuing that line. Kenneth Goldsmith’s prefatory essay “Why Conceptual Writing? Why Now?” in Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (201 […]
  • The Ben Marcus Interview March 9, 2014
    I do tend to generate a lot of pages when I’m drafting something, and I cut as I go. I make strange noises out of my face, on the page, and they are for the most part not worth keeping. Some of the stories don’t take shape until I overwrite and pursue every cursed dead-end I can think of, which clarifies everything I don’t want the story to become. But I don […]

LINKS

Ladders
The NY Times profiles library-ladder makers Putnam Rolling Ladder Company

News

* Not exactly news, but could someone with greater influence than I possess help The Guardian understand that they’re not obliged to cover every single Harry Potter-related story that comes down the pike?

* The Millions discusses anticipated books left to publish in 2008. And if you want more hot forthcoming books action, you can check the catalogs I run down regularly on Fridays and my two BEA roundups

* FC2 is getting dropped from the University of Florida. Guess innovative fiction is too much for a university to support these days.

* There’s a new Words Without Borders up.

* I just new they were going to start doing this sooner or later. Now custom agents have the power to randomly search your electronic media.

Reviews

* A number of reviews for The Book of Chameleons: Three Percent, The Complete Review, dailypress.com

* Ready Steady Blog uncovers a thorough, not-terribly-complimentary review of James Wood’s poorly titled How Fiction Works

Essays

* The LRB on Philip K. Dick

Video

* A Harvard study claims to have refuted the thesis of the book The Long Tail. (The author responds.)
 

The Rest

* Newsweek recommends summer reads, and their list is actually a lot better than you would expect. There’s Nathan Englander, Chatwin, and Hitchens before he became tired.

* Shane at eNotes discusses his pleasure with finding books for $1.00 and less at the Salvation Army store. I can beat that . . . I’ve been finding the best stuff lately just sitting in boxes on the sidewalk.

* Imperial America somehow managed to offer us all video of Christopher Hitchens being waterborded as part of some kind of proof to the beefy critic that it is indeed torture. Glad he’s convinced. And if you click the link and read Scott McLemee’s thoughts on the footage, perhaps you’ll ask yourself, as I did, "how does he know how ‘any dominatrix’s client’ is treated?"

* Is email losing its importance?

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. LINKS From the piece "Composition for Robert Walser," published at Words Without Borders News * Cody’s Books is now really, truly, and, one must accept,...
  2. LINKS Above: the art of light graffiti. More photos and info here. News * No difference between Calvino and Hemingway? Iranian translators do what the...
  3. LINKS * There’s a new issue of Bookforum online * The Guardian reports on digital short stories, utlizing blogs, Google maps, etc * Hitchens on Pound...
  4. LINKS * This is what The Sound and the Fury looks like on stage. Read more about the adaption, which doesn’t cut a single line...
  5. LINKS Yes, giant wood termites. Marcelo Ballve considers the art of Charles Juhasz-Alvarado. News * Twice as much fiction was published in 2007 as 2002. Of...

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5 comments to LINKS

  • Hey there- Thanks for the link to eNotes Book Blog. Only this blog was mine, Jamie, that’s right, J-A-M-I-E. Shane’s rival for the crown.

  • How do I know how a dominatrix’s client is treated? Perhaps it is a bad idea to generalize from a couple of scenes in “Sid and Nancy” and the recent British newspaper’s online posting of video of a public figure’s afternoon romp in a London dungeon. Then again, maybe that’s enough.
    Suffice it to say the fact Hitchens was given a “stop word” made the whole thing seem more like consensual roleplay than anything even distantly resembling a military interrogation.

  • FC2 is at FSU, not UF.

  • Trevor

    In regard to The Long Tail glance-over, both sides seem to be taking a short-sighted look at this phenomenon. There are major shifts occurring within the realms of media, and it’s apparent most with the literal changing of companies. Borders is on its last threads, Random House is playing musical chairs, and some of the major music publishers have simply stopped being around. There is a swing towards a broader market currently, and perhaps the “Internet Popularity” bump is slowing it down for a few years, as Lee Gomes refers to.
    The internet is changing things, it’s just that business isn’t adjusting their strategies to it. When they do though, it’s working. Amazon has an internet approach (as with the article awhile ago about how it’s not financially wise for Amazon to take on Borders), and it’s become the giant of sales. Publishers and vendors alike need to find ways to follow suit… or be left in the age of the blockbuster.

  • My fellow Gator Maud beat me to it, but you don’t confuse us with Seminoles. (Actually, I worked on a joint UF/FSU project when I was a staff attorney at the UF law think tank and have always been impressed with FSU — I was last there for a great writing and publishing conference in March 2005.)
    As someone who worked as an editorial assistant for the Fiction Collective at its beginning, when Brooklyn College provided us with space, first at a downtown building that was formerly St. Johns law school, and then on the main campus, I can tell you that somehow FC/FC2 has always managed to find an academic home (at the University of Colorado, for example) and am glad they’ll be at the University of Houston-Victoria for the 35th anniversary of its founding by Jonathan Baumbach, Peter Spielberg, Mark Mirsky, Ron Sukenick, Ray Federman and other terrific writers.

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