George Saunders

Carla Blumenkranz has irrevocably shattered our illusion that book publishing is a humane, just, and kind industry. Blumenkranz offers a cutting portrait of publishing-house grunt work: "She showed me how to read manuscripts she didn't want from agents—by shuffling the pages until they looked like they'd been read," Blumenkranz writes of one editor, who also taught her "how to respond to unsolicited work—'Sorry to say that Trouble in Venice just didn't speak to me the way I'd hoped it would.'"

The Daily Beast inaugurates its "Writers to Watch" series, with the first installment's author going gaga for Julie Orringer's debut novel, The Invisible Bridge, a "grand historical work."

The Book Examiner's "Reviewerspeak Awards" slaughters a long-suffering species: the formulaic book review. What does the Examiner add to what is perhaps the easiest nit-picking critique since ridiculing an athlete's post-game statements? Not to get all Believer-y on you, but how does this snarky "award" help anyone? The author explains: "Clichés are leeches. They drain the blood out of everything a reviewer is trying to say, blood that would be better off pumped straight from the writer's carotid artery onto the page."

Satirist George Saunders pledges his love for “the UK. Or, you know, of, ah, England. That is to say, I guess—Britain? You know what I mean."


Dial-A-Poet John Giorno

Celebrate National Poetry Month by dialing up Ubuweb's digitized version of Giorno Poetry Systems Dial-A-Poem Poets. It is well worth the dime.

You might think that higher e-book prices would benefit writers, but if you do the math, you find that publishers collect the extra dough.

Does a writer's life get any better than a cushy Cullman Center fellowship? An ornate office at the 42nd Street library, a $60,000 stipend, access to the library's vast research collection (presumably unhampered by the NYPL's Kafkaesque bureaucracy), and the right to call yourself a Scholar (with a capital "S"). This year's winners have been announced; they include fiction writers Mary Gaitskill and Wells Tower, New Yorker writer Larissa MacFarquhar, and historian Annette Gordon-Reed, among others.

The Awl's Choire Sicha pretty much sums up our feelings on the redoubtable iPad, due out tomorrow: "a gigantic iPhone that doesn't make phone calls, and basically looks like a thumbprint and hand grease analyzer."


Jennifer Gilmore is reading at Greenlight Books this evening at 7:30. It is the place to be tonight. No foolin'.

Our picks for great April and May reads, from Pub Dates, including new books from Robert Walser, Greil Marcus, and Graham Robb.

Got us, Ed, Happy April Fools'.

Joshua Cohen

Stephen King isn't the only writer with a baseball novel on deck: Chad Harbach, who contributes articles to n+1, has sold his first novel, tentatively titled The Art of Fielding, to Little, Brown for $650,000.

"The M.F.A. is a degree in servitude," Joshua Cohen tells the New York Observer. "It is a way to keep writing safe." In a lively profile of Cohen, the Observer compares the author's forthcoming Witz, a novel about the hunt for the last living Jew, to Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow.

The cover image for Jonathan Franzen's long-awaited September novel, Freedom, has been released.

Poet and art critic Lisa Robertson's Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture, now out of print, fetches between one and two hundred dollars on Amazon—not bad for a paperback. But save your money: Public Studio, a new print-on-demand business co-run by novelist Matthew Stadler, will make the book and sell it for $10. (There's something beautiful about the way they construct their books.) Or you can read it online, and comment on the text, free of charge. (New Yorkers intrigued by the Public Studio project can visit them on April 9 and 10 at 177 Livingston.)

Lorrie Moore selects the latest read for the New Yorker's Book Club: David Vann's Legend of a Suicide.

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