Salon reprints Dave Eggers’ introduction to Edward Lewis Wallant’s The Tenants of Moonbloom, an “allegory of 1950s urban life that might be the greatest New York novel you’ve never read.” It’s the latest title added to the excellent NYRB Classics series. Mr. TMFTML alerted me to the existence of the series and one of its titles (Raymond Queneau’s Witch Grass) recently. I can’t recommend either highly enough.
Jonathan Lethem appeared on KCRW’s Bookworm program last week. Sontag appeared the week before that; Didion made an appearance on the 20th. The archived shows and excerpts from these writers’ recent books are available online. (Scroll down.) An Edward Said retrospective will air at Bookworm on Christmas Day.
Robert Frank considers the hazards of new fortune at Poetry magazine. Quoted at the outset is this gem from Robert Graves: “If there’s no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money.” (Via Golden Rule Jones.)
Tom Wolfe rails against plans to modernize a derelict 1960’s New York City structure, predicting a “‘what-have-we-done shock’ when ‘one of the most important buildings in the history of 20th Century architecture'” is “vaporised.” (Via Gawker.)
“A threatened species of frog thought to have inspired Mark Twain’s tale of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County has been rediscovered in the county, 34 years after the frogs were last seen in the area.” (Via Good Reports.)
Last week The Morning News ran an interview with Boris Fishman, editor of Wild East: Stories From the Last Frontier, on “the current state of literature in Eastern Europe, traits of the Russian soul, and the literary cash-currency in hookers, guns, and drugs.”