David Vann

Slate's David Weigel is one of the few journalists who received advance copies of O: A Presidential Novel, the soon-to-be-published roman a clef about Obama's presidential campaign. Spoiler alert: He prints the book's final sentences.

For those who doubt the great march of modernist progress, consider the trajectory of the novel as witnessed by the past century of iconic fiction: Proust, Nabokov, Kerouac, and, now, SnOOki! All that is solid melts into Jersey: “OMG I'm a New York Times Best Selling Author!!! Thank you so much to my fans, family and everyone who made this possible! LOVE YOU ALL !!”

The Results of the NBCC board member election were announced last night: congratulations to Eric Banks, Benjamin Moser, Susan Shapiro, Elizabeth Taylor, David Ulin, Marcela Valdes, Oscar Villalon, and Eric Miles Williamson.

On Bookworm, novelist David Vann discusses the multiple suicides his family has suffered—including Vann’s father taking his own life when Vann was 13 years old—and how they influenced his new novel, Caribou Island, in which a hopelessly unhappy married couple struggles to keep it together in the bleakness of the Alaskan wilderness.

Amy Chua’s memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and an accompanying excerpt from the book, published by the Wall Street Journal under the headline, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” has caused an uproar in the US, where parents are aghast at the strict discipline and high expectations with which Chua raised her children (she once told her four-year old daughter that a homemade birthday card wasn’t good enough). What do mothers in China think? The Daily Beast finds that many of them are adopting Western ways of child-rearing.