Surprise 2010 Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson on comic novels: "Comedy breaks every trance—that's its function. Comedy is nothing if not critical. From the very beginning the comic novel set out to argue with everything and to set us arguing with one another."
A profile of Ethiopian author Dinaw Mengestu and his highly anticipated second novel, How to Read the Air, which will be published this week.
Future sociologists will undoubtedly ask of our era: "What was the Hipster?" Luckily, n+1 is tackling the query on multiple fronts, with a new book and two panel discussion: one last year in New York, and one on Monday at UCLA. In LA, Gavin McInnes delivered his remarks sans shirt, and was aggravated by fellow panelist Tao Lin, who mumbled many of his answers. (McInnes: "I can't tell what you're saying!" Lin: "That's my trademark.") Emily Gould seemed less flummoxed by an aloof Lin during his recent appearance on Gould's literary chat and cooking show, "Cooking the Books," but watching the pair make small talk and a salad still makes us squirm.
Tonight at Bluestockings Books journalist Rebecca Traister will read from her feminist chronicle of the 2008 presidential election, Big Girls Don't Cry. In a recent interview, Traister says of Hillary Clinton: "I thought her continuing to fight was awesome and hilarious. I thought it was completely redefining how we view women and our expectations for them in public and political life."
Lee Rourke and Matthew Hooton share The Guardian's Not The Booker prize.