“Twisted Silence.”

I have an upcoming story set for publication in October’s L Magazine about an upcoming documentary (“Twisted Silence”) in the works. In short, it’s about how the recent tornadoes in places like Pilger have affected Nebraskans. A preview is available here. You can donate to their Kickstarter campaign here.

My Home Screen.

As an avid fan of virtually any home screen blog post, for a long time—for no particular reason—I’ve not shared my own home screen. Today, at least as far as my iPhone goes, I’m going to remedy that. Without further comment:   For one, I don’t understand anyone who leaves a blank row on their […]

Knausgaard, Part II.

What a sensation Karl Ove Knausgaard and his six-book autobiographical novel series My Struggle has become. The New Yorker has posted about it. Knausgaard has been interview in Tin House and The New Republic, and created lines around the block when he appeared with Zadie Smith recently in Brooklyn. All for this, basically: Across its 3,600 pages, Knausgaard […]

Of the books I read published in 2013, these are my favorites.

Last year I joined list hysteria (“listeria”?) of end-of-the-year reading. At the end of 2013, I’m succumbing again. I’ll just quote myself from last year regarding the rather lengthy title to this post: Since it would be silly to say these are the “best” books of 2012—”best” is impossible to determine, and considering I’ve read only […]

Tin House interview with Walter Kirn.

Tin House’s recent interview with novelist Walter Kirn has given me a new purpose in my writing about books. There is so much good stuff in here: I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever written criticism. I’ve written book reviews, for money, in the sorts of magazines and newspapers that used to run such reviews regularly […]

Editing Like Alice.

Even Nobel laureate Alice Munro struggles with stories: In fact, in an interview with the Paris Review about her process, Munro said that “in about three quarters of what I do, I reach a point somewhere, fairly early on, when I think I’m going to abandon this story.” And she feels very “grouchy” about it. … [E]ven Munro […]

Scalia and Hercules and the Umpire.

Regardless of whether you love him, hate him, or are pleasantly amused by him (I’ll leave you guessing as to which one I am) New York‘s interview with Justice Antonin Scalia is a must-read. For a legal nerd like me, the most interesting part is Scalia’s claiming to “repudiate” that he is a “faint-hearted” originalist (this […]

“I’m not interested in teaching books by women.”

Author David Gilmour is turning quite a few heads with a few statements from an interview: I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I […]

2013 National Book Award Longlist.

A few days late: the 2013 National Book Award fiction longlist was announced. Titles include a couple I have reviewed this year: Tom Drury, Pacific (Grove Press) Elizabeth Graver, The End of the Point (Harper/HarperCollinsPublishers) Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers (Scribner/Simon & Schuster) Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House) Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth/Random House) (My review) James McBride, The Good Lord […]

Blackfish and Moby Dick.

Last week, my wife and I saw the documentary Blackfish, the attempted exposé of SeaWorld. In particular, Blackfish focused on the plight of one orca, Tilikum, who has been involved in three deaths, including the 2010 killing of his trainer, Dawn Brancheau. Originally caught in the wild, Tilikum is an overly large orca who has […]