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Steven Millhauser: Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943 – 1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright

One of my favorite books, Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer (my review here), was reported by Abebooks as one of the top ten forgotten Pulitzer Prize winning novels.  Most of the books on the list were published between fifty and sixty years ago, but Martin Dressler was published…

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Kate Walbert: “M&M World”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage.  Kate Walbert’s “M&M World” was originally published in The New Yorker‘s May 30, 2011, issue. Several years ago (more on the specific timing below), I read Kate Walbert’s debut novel The Gardens of Kyoto.  I haven’t read a…

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Tove Jansson: The True Deceiver

Trevor reviews Tove Jansson’s 1982 novel, The True Deceiver. Read the full post.

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Ron Rash: “The Trusty”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Ron Rash’s “The Trusty” was first published in The New Yorker‘s May 23, 2011, issue. Again The New Yorker reminds me of a relatively young yet relatively prolific American author whom…

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2011 Man Booker International Winner

Philip Roth has won the 2011 Man Booker International (click here for the announcement on the Man Booker Prize website, which also has a recording of his acceptance speech).  With sixteen reviews so far, Roth is by far the most reviewd author on this blog, and he’s likely to remain…

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Téa Obreht: The Tiger’s Wife

 I really liked “Blue Water Djinn,” Téa Obreht’s short piece published last year during The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40″ season.  However, when it was published in The New Yorker as the debut fiction piece in the 2009 fiction issue (June 8 and 15; my brief thoughts on this post), I was more or less…

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Sarah Shun-lien Bynum: Madeleine Is Sleeping

Though I wanted to, I didn’t particularly like Sarah Shun-lien Bynum’s “The Erlking,” published in The New Yorker as part of its “20 Under 40″ fun last summer.  I read it a few times, finding the language intriguing, hoping the concept would pay off, but I never felt it worked.  Still, I was interested…

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Francine Prose: My New American Life

Though I’ve not read many of her books, I have a suspicion that Francine Prose is one of our underrated — or, at least, underread – novelists.  I very much enjoyed Goldengrove, and found much more to it than most critics, some of whom attempted to dismiss it as young adult (whether such a…

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Michael Ondaatje: “The Cat’s Table”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Michael Ondaatje’s “Cat’s Table” was first published in The New Yorker‘s May 16, 2011, issue. First things first: months after releasing its iPad app, which was pay-by-issue for everyone, print…

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Jaimy Gordon: Lord of Misrule

When Lord of Misrule (2010) was announced as a National Book Award finalist, it was one of the only books on the list I hadn’t read that I was truly interested in looking up.  It’s hard for a book published by a small press with a limited print run to get…

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Donald Antrim: “He Knew”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Donald Antrim’s “He Knew” was first published in The New Yorker‘s May 9, 2011, issue. Donald Antrim was named by The New Yorker in the magazine’s original top 20 young writers in America, in…

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Alan Heathcock: Volt

A few months ago, when I first picked up Alan Heathcock’s debut, a collection of short stories entitled Volt (2011), I wasn’t expecting much.  At that point, I had yet to see his name pop up again and again on various literary blogs as excited readers around the internet praised the book.  I read…