Robert Draper, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine and GQ, has has been added to John Edwards’s witness list. Draper responded on Twitter: “To Edwards defense team: not sure why I'm on your witness list, but I'm in Libya all month anyway, carry on.”
Writer Kyle MacDonald, best known for using the barter section of Craigslist to trade his way up from a red paperclip to a house in Saskatchewan, is making headlines again, this time on Etsy. For 5.67, MacDonald is selling a “de-written” edition of the book Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys To Transforming the Way We Work and Live, by Tony Schwartz, Jean Gomes & Catherine McCarthy. (This basically means a copy of the book with a lot of text hidden by scribbles or literally cut out with a scissors. The new title: Be Anything.) According to MacDonald’s Etsy description, it took “5 black felt pens and 100 hours” to create the “more than 352 unique drawings” in his version of the book.
In 1947, Malcolm Cowley told an interviewer that "a man does what he has to do—if he has to write, why then, he writes; and if he doesn't feel the urgent need of writing, there are dozens of professions in which it is easier to earn a more comfortable living." The remark, which was recently quoted in a Paris Review Daily essay on Cowley, inspired a fiery response from Helen DeWitt, who took to the comments section to offer a less romantic take on writing: “The writer who is literally an addict, the writer who can’t help himself, the writer who HAS to write, can never be anything but an amateur, because the industry requires the professional to put writing on hold not just for a day or two, or a week, but for years.”
The New York Times’s Janet Maslin is not a fan of the new Obama exposť by Edward Klein, the former editor of the NYT Magazine. "The Amateur by Edward Klein," Maslin writes, "is a book about an inept, arrogant ideologue who maintains an absurdly high opinion of his own talents even as he blatantly fails to achieve his goals. Oh, and President Obama is in this book too."
What’s the relationship between writing, romantic love, and solitude? Emily Cooke considers the question in a new essay on Susan Sontag, Vivian Gornick, and Alejandra Pizarnik for the New Inquiry.
St. Andrews University in Scotland hosts Britain’s first academic conference on Harry Potter.
“Mommy porn” novel Fifty Shades of Gray was a Mother’s Day hit, selling 443,000 copies—a 40 percent increase—the week before the holiday. If you haven’t read it yet, you might be able to pick up a copy at a bodega near you.
That over-opinionated friend, too much white wine, requesting to read Middlemarch.... Here’s a list of the best ways to kill your book club.