From the 2011 PEN World Voices Festival, recommended titles in six categories from the NBCC's stand-up critics.
Michiko Kakutani’s survey of books about bin Laden.
Though the Los Angeles Review of Books is still a work in progress, they are already publishing some engaging articles, including a new piece by David Shields, author of last year’s much discussed book Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. In the LARB, Shields takes on Jonathan Franzen, providing this acerbic take on Franzen’s New Yorker article about solitude and the death of David Foster Wallace: “Franzen is horrified on behalf of all of us that there’s a difference between Wallace’s persona and his actual existence. Perhaps the difference that Franzen should contemplate instead is the one between Wallace, who delved, heroically, into the darkness of his own soul, and his ‘friend’ Jonathan Franzen, whose oeuvre (and this article in particular) is devoted to fighting off any insight into himself and locating instead all shade and shadow elsewhere, out there, the next precinct over.”
The owners of independent bookstores have yet another horror to contemplate: Amazon is going to sell the Kindle at Wal-Mart.
At The Awl, blogger Maud Newton profiles Emma Forrest, whose new memoir Your Voice In My Head details her fight to stay sane after her gifted psychiatrist dies.