Brenda Wineapple

The New Yorker has anointed its twenty young writers under forty who "capture the inventiveness and the vitality of contemporary American fiction," and Farrar, Straus & Giroux has announced it will publish a paperback anthology of the chosen ones. How were they chosen? What are the stories about? Tainted love, mostly. What's the upside? Choire Sicha offers Ten Affirmations. The takeaway? Forty is still young when it comes to writing fiction.

Brenda Wineapple writes that American literature in the 19th century "speaks in the 21st in terms we have not yet abandoned for all our sophistication, technology, globalism, and panache."

A 2007 appearance of the late author David Markson reading at the 92nd Street Y from his The Last Novel, in which he wrote: "When I die, I open a bordello."

From The Nation, John Palattella on The Death and Life of the Book Review: "Newspaper books sections have been ailing for decades, but there's no better time than now for writing about books." (See above: as Sicha says, "You, just like the New Yorker, could have a million subscribers by the end of the month, if you wanted to. So get cracking, buddy.")

Tonight author Lev Grossman gets cracking, reading from his recent novel, The Magicians, in which Harry Potter meets Dazed and Confused.

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