Franzen on Turkle.

This review by Jonathan Franzen of Sherry Turkle’s new book is worth reading and re-reading for so many things. Here’s just a snippet: [Turkle’s] new book, “Reclaiming Conversation,” extends her critique, with less ­emphasis on robots and more on the dissatisfaction with technology reported by her recent interview subjects. She takes their dissatisfaction as a hopeful […]

Admiral James Stavridis on Reading Fiction.

Over at The Millions, an interview with Admiral James Stavridis, dean of Tufts University’s graduate school of Law and Diplomacy and a lifelong reader of fiction: I read constantly. I read probably 80 percent fiction, 20 percent nonfiction. And I have found through reading fiction, I understand the human condition better. You said a moment ago that […]

“Stare Decisis” in Midwestern Gothic

Very excited to share that Issue # 17 of the great lit mag Midwestern Gothic is now out, and it includes a short story of mine, “Stare Decisis.” Here’s a somewhat representative excerpt: Nobody told Walters, upon putting on the judicial robes, how all of his friends would change their conversations around him, how they […]

“From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself.”

Marlon James, author of one of the novels that has shot up my TBR pile (thanks to the Tournament of Books), in this lyrical and raw essay for the NY Times: In creative writing, I teach that characters arise out of our need for them. By now, the person I created in New York was the only […]

The 2015 Tournament of Books.

Over at The Morning News, the fantastic Tournament of Books is once again in full swing. Yours truly was the reader judge last year. I’m spending the tournament as an excited spectator this time around. I’ve only read about half of this year’s tournament entries, so I can’t really pick a winner, but of those titles I’ve […]

Review of “The Children Act.”

My review of Ian McEwan’s new novel The Children Act is now available online: Ian McEwan has always had a legal mind. “Atonement,” the novel he is probably best known for, turned on a false accusation, and the ramifications of an unjust conviction based on a relatively thin amount of evidence. “The Children Act,” his […]

Authors Ranking the Greatest Novels.

Over at Brain Pickings, a little round up post highlights a recent list of “best” books that were featured in Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books. Of the top ten—a list compiled by writers through a voting system—the only one I’ve not read is the Proust, which I must say has always been a little […]

Man Booker Prize Shortlist.

Just this morning, the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced. A couple books that have been long on my reading list (the Fowler and Ferris) were included, and one that I’m currently reading (David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks) was left off. My verdict is still out on The Bone Clocks.

Balzac’s Brew.

I had no idea Balzac was such a coffee addict: Coffee — he called it a “great power in [his] life” — made possible a grueling writing schedule that had him going to bed at six, rising at 1am to work until eight in the morning, then grabbing forty winks before putting in another seven hours. A […]