- I wanted to include A.L. Kennedy’s Paradise — a woman’s alcoholism story that “has its roots … in the pontificating first-person voice of a century of hard-drinking Scottish male writing” — on my 2004 Newsday best-of list. But while I bought the U.K. edition online last fall, the book is only now appearing in the U.S. I’ll try to say more about Paradise soon, but for now read Jessica Winter’s admiring review in the current Village Voice.
- Sam Lipsyte’s Home Land has won the first Believer Award. Lucy Ellmann’s Dot in the Universe and Francisco Goldman’s The Divine Husband were also in the running. (Thanks to Katherine, Nick, and others for the link.)
- A new George Saunders story appears in the current issue of Harper’s. You can read an excerpt online. Saunders’ political fable, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, is forthcoming from Riverhead later this year. (Via Bookslut.)
- David Foster Wallace’s latest abomination — oh, I kid; he’s generally better than David Mitchell, anyway, and I haven’t even read the new DFW piece yet — appears in the current Atlantic. (Via TEV.)
- Before The Fortress of Solitude appeared, Jonathan Lethem tended to be billed more often than not as an author of sci-fi/fantasy (usually on the strength of books like my beloved Gun, With Occasional Music, and The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye) and crime fiction. But Lethem does not embrace, in his writing, all things experimental and electronic. In a recent interview with Paul Auster, he said:
I find that technologies invented beyond a certain date–for me it might be 1978, or 1984–don’t seem to belong in the realm of fiction.