Monday morning remainders

  • As Mary Cheney’s book appears, Letterman grills the Vice President’s daughter on her hypocrisy. (The segment ends with Letterman saying, “Well, if my phone line wasn’t tapped before….”)
  • Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina) was taught to despise mobile homes during her childhood. For the weekend’s LA Times she goes to Malibu “to see what it’s like when the prosperous take on the traditional refuge of the itinerant and the poor.”
  • Monica Ali (Brick Lane) has set her second novel, Alentejo Blue, in Portugal. In a negative review, Natasha Walter says “The only thing that holds the book together is its geographical unity.”
  • Daniel Mendelsohn calls Philip Roth’s latest novel “as imperfect as it is impassioned.”
  • Elizabeth Bishop “thought deeply about contingencies of literary reception and reputation in the late 1930s … and came to realise that to want to manage the fate of one’s work, an impulse native to her, was to court a ‘dangerous purity’ (a phrase she uses to describe Marianne Moore’s work in the 1940s).”
  • Muriel Spark’s son, Robin, reveals that their feud continued until the writer’s death. He did not attend her funeral.
  • Help a “lonely bookworm find a virtual community.”
  • “In a market dominated by the big chain stores, if a novel doesn’t sell a healthy number of copies in the first two weeks after its publication, its chances of gaining longer-term momentum are slim.”


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