The shortlist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize has been announced.
Sure, we may have entered the age of wireless devices and ADD, but as The Millions points out, big, sprawling novels with lots of characters aren't dead yet. In fact, "the current profusion of long novels would seem to complicate the picture of the Incredible Shrinking Attention Span."
OR Books, the new independent publisher who does not work with Amazon, has announced that it will publish Douglas Rushkoff's Program or Be Programmed, in which the novelist and countercultural essayist will attempt to help you swim, not sink, in the digital age.
Tonight at Brooklyn's Word bookstore, Stephen Elliott will host a party for the paperback release of his excellent The Adderall Diaries, which coolly blends memoir, reports on a Bay Area murder, and pointed meditations on storytelling itself. Among Elliott's many themes is masochism, so it's appropriate that he'll be reading with Melissa Febos, whose Whip Smart recalls how she paid for college in NYC by becoming a high-end dominatrix. Turns out that Jonathan Franzen is reading in NYC tonight too. Says Elliott: "I love Franzen, but I'm not going to miss my own reading in Brooklyn to see him read in Brooklyn."
You can invite Arianna Huffington to talk to a school or group during her Third Wold America book tour.
Michael Schaub recalls how one drunken night nine years ago led to the creation of Bookslut. The excellent literary website Bookslut has posted 12,000 blog entries, more than 2,700 articles, and, now, 100 issues. One of the new articles, "After Portnoy," responds to Katie Roiphe's notorious essay for the New York Times by interviewing three young male writers about sex.
The Virginia Quarterly Review story continues to develop, as the University of Virginia plans to perform a "thorough review" of the literary journal.