Remainders

  • Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Michael Ondaatje, and Alice Munro make the top twenty in Amazon.ca’s list of essential Canadian books. Bookninja celebrates the inclusion of Michel Basilieres and Derek McCormack. Perhaps Canadian Stephany Aulenback, MaudNewton.com’s standing Friday blogger, will discuss the selections when she’s up next.
  • In a mixed review of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (which Stephany mentioned favorably last Friday), Charles McGrath observes that it’s difficult to make a living writing short stories but not so difficult to make “a pretty good living by teaching other people how to write short stories.” He also describes Padgett Powell’s contribution, “Scarliotti and the Sinkhole,” a story “about a young Floridian who gets clipped in the head by a truck mirror and, while waiting for the insurance settlement, has sex in his motorized hospital bed with the girl who delivers his beer.”
  • The proprietor of Rake’s Progress is heralding Jorge Luis Borges this week in honor of the great writer’s birthday. Seven posts and counting. I love it when he does stuff like this.
  • Sasha Frere-Jones, New Yorker music critic and all-around great guy (provided you don’t confuse him with his brother), talks with Gawker interviewers Gage and Krucoff about the difference between writing for his weblog and writing for Remnick.

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