Glimmer Train Short Story Contest.

Happy to announce that my short story, “The Thing Speaks for Itself” was named a Top 25 finalist by Glimmer Train for its February 2014 short story contest. This is the second time a story of mine has been a finalist for a GT contest, although the first that it was named to the Top 25. […]

The Orphan Master’s Son.

Congrats to Adam Johnson and The Orphan Master’s Son, which won the Tournament of Books last week. I haven’t read the novel yet, but it’s definitely in the to-read pile now. All editions—Kindle, Nook and paperback—are cheap right now, so there are no excuses not to pick it up. After the ToB, I’ve placed a few more […]

The Letters of Willa Cather.

The New York Times reports on publication (finally) of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, the first time much of her correspondence will be available publicly: For scholars it’s a major literary event, a chance at last to flesh out the understanding of a writer often seen as a remote bluestocking in big skirts and […]

Alfred 2.

One of my favorite Mac apps, the fantastic universal-searcher Alfred, was just updated to version 2. It’s still free, with an optional (but worth it) Powerpack for about the equivalent of $20. The newly-added workflows seems to have some potential, but until I figure them out it’s slightly annoying all the old extensions have disappeared. At […]

Ronald Dworkin.

In 2008 I attended a lecture of the Ronald Dworkin’s as he came to campus to speak at the E.N. Thompson Forum. The topic: America and Israel. Dworkin delivered a forceful opinion, which would probably have prevented him from becoming Secretary of Defense, if he’d ever been a politician (and if the Chuck Hagel confirmation hearings were any […]

Islamism in Mali.

The New York Times: The jihadists are even attempting to sell the former criminal courts building in Gao, Mr. Sidibé said, because they no longer have any use for it. In Timbuktu, justice is dispensed from a room in a former hotel. The U.N. Security Council has authorized military action (made up of West African troops) […]

Cold “In Cold Blood.”

For someone who has spent a great deal of time thinking about Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century, this possible bit of news has me intrigued: More than 50 years after the Walker family was murdered in the quiet, carefree town of Osprey, Fla., the focus of […]

National Book Award Finalists.

Lost during the news of Mo Yan’s big win of the Nobel for Literature, the finalists for the National Book Award have been announced. The fiction finalists: A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Dí­az The Round House by Louise Erdrich Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben […]

Jesus’ Wife.

The New York Times is reporting an announcement made by Karen King, noted scholar of Christian history at Harvard, about a Coptic fragment purporting to mention Jesus discussing his “wife”: The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just […]

Apple v. Samsung.

Of all of the (admittedly kinda crappy) coverage of the Apple v. Samsung trial, Ars Technica (who else?) offers a good and most cogent overview of the trial and verdict. Despite the verdict being in, the issues are hardly decided. The patent law blog Patently-O has provided the best post-verdict legal analysis I’ve seen. That blog has helped […]