• Oxford American returns this winter. Among other things, the new issue will include a “comic essay by the great Charles Portis, which kicks off a new department, ‘Writing on Writing.'”
  • Iris Murdoch suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Her last novel, Jackson’s Dilemma, “was a puzzle even to her nearest and dearest.” Scientists have examined the book for signs of Alzheimer’s and say it:

    shows a smaller vocabulary than her previous novels, which were noted for the richness of their language, suggesting she was in the grip of the ‘word-finding difficulty’ characteristic of the earliest phase of Alzheimer’s.

    (Via Laila.)

  • If Jane Welsh Carlyle was “the world’s first feminist writer,” then the house of the world’s first feminist writer draws a mere 15 visitors a year and its contents are being sold off.
  • J.G. Ballard’s one-liners — like “Sooner or later all Science Fiction comes true.” — fill a book.
  • Sotheby’s will auction a recovered manuscript of Truman Capote’s unpublished first novel, Summer Crossing, which the author abandoned and claimed to have destroyed. (Thanks, Trixie.)
  • Under the guidance of founding editor Wendy Lesser, Threepenny Review is celebrating its 25th year with the publication of its 100th issue. Louise Gluck, Robert Pinsky, and Cynthia Ozick will appear at a free reading in honor of the publication next week.
  • “Blog” tops Merriam-Webster’s words of the year. (Thanks, Annie.)


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