Jeff Eugenides, in Times Square.
Hypertext fiction was once thought to be the next big thing, but instead it has basically vanished (when is the last time you read a hypertext novel?). Author Paul La Farge, whose new book Luminous Airplanes has an online “hyperromance” component, concludes that the promising medium was killed by bad timing and worse luck: “Born into a world that wasn’t quite ready for it, and encumbered with lousy technology and user-hostile interface design, it got a bad reputation, at least outside of specialized reading circles.”
For around fifteen Euros, public writers in France will polish your resume, write you a eulogy, and compose your love letters.
Jeffrey Eugenides is the unlikely star of a new Times Square billboard.
Emily Gould’s digital publishing outfit, Emily Books, is open for business and offering its first e-book, a reissue of the classic 1990s Ellen Willis essay collection No More Nice Girls. Willis’s reputation has been revived recently because of her music criticism, collected in Out of the Vinyl Deeps, but her most impassioned and brilliant work was published after she had mostly stopped writing about bands and shows in the late ’70s. As Sara Marcus writes in the Los Angeles Review of Books, “Willis went on to become one of the most ecstatic, intellectually astute, and readable thinkers ever to come out of the radical feminist underground. You’re all agog over ‘My Grand Funk Problem—and Ours,’ but who among you has read the incisive essay ‘Lust Horizons’ (in No More Nice Girls), which confronts sex and power and morality in ways that still read as mind-blowingly fresh.”
Maurice Sendak on e-books: "I hate them. It's like making believe there's another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of book! A book is a book is a book."
Indie publisher Melville House’s intriguing offer: Buy a Russian crime novel, get a penguin.