Paula Fox

The Paris Review is running a series of essays paying homage to Paula Fox, who will be honored at the journal’s annual Revel with the Hadada Prize. The first essay comes from Tom Bissell, who got Fox’s classic novel Desperate Characters back into print while still an editorial assistant at W.W. Norton. According to Bissell, the novel (a tale of cat bites, gentrification, and marital dissintigration set in brownstone Brooklyn) “cuts across generations and aesthetic tastes like no other modern novel I know. Postmodernists love it. I love it. Hipsters love it. Academics love it. Realists love it. My mother loves it. Only a year or two after it was republished, Desperate Characters was being regarded as one of the classic Brooklyn novels, one of the classic American short novels.”

Novelist, critic, and musiciam James Greer is helping Steven Soderbergh adapt John Barth's The Sot-Weed Factor into a 12-part miniseries. "Kind of like Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, but with pirates and whores and venereal disease and bumptious alcoholics and someone in almost every episode soiling his or her (usually his) pants. In other words, almost exactly like Berlin Alexanderplatz," Greer recently wrote in the LA Review of Books.

The AP is dropping the term “illegal immigrant” from their stylebook.

The New Yorker launches “Elements,” a new blog about science and tech, with a piece by Maria Bustillos about the financial crisis in Europe and the future of the electronic currency Bitcoin.

At the Boston Review, Claude S. Fischer pens a long essay about how the number of college-educated women joining the workforce has dropped off since the 1990s; meanwhile, at the New York Times’ Dealbook blog, Andrew Ross Sorkin interviews female executives about the lack of women on Wall Street, and how “the problem of the glass ceiling is matched by... “sticky floor” — that is, women who remain in lower-tier jobs because they don’t proactively try to climb the corporate ladder.”

If you work at a media website like Gawker or Buzzfeed, how much of your job is consumed by tweeting? The Awl crunches the numbers.


Margaret Atwood

It’s that time of year again: the nominees for the National Magazine Awards (unfortunately known as the ASMEs) have been announced. While there are too many worthy contenders to name here, we’d like to congratulate Bookforum contributor Daphne Merkin for scoring a nominations in the “columns and commentary” category for her writing in Elle magazine.

More awards news: We now know who will be deciding the next National Book Awards.

For $1,400 a pop, exceptionally dedicated fans of Margaret Atwood can join the Canadian author on a seven-day cruise as she promotes her forthcoming novel <em style="font-size: 10pt;">MaddAdam</em>.

At the Guardian, John Dugdale calls for the end of the campus novel.

Can nasty language anticipate real-world violence? Foreign Policy spotlights Hatebase, a social media and mapping initiative that seeks to predict ethnic violence based on instances of hate speech.

A new Kickstarter project is angling to turn Sigmund Freud’s handwriting into a typeface.

BuzzFeed, generally known as the home of corgi slideshows and left-wing cats, has launched a new section dedicated to longform journalism. With extended pieces about subjects like school shootings and Florida python hunts, editor Steve Kandell acknowledges that that the site is “BuzzFeed for people who are afraid of BuzzFeed.”


Andrew Motion

How are Goodreads users reacting to news of the forthcoming takeover by Amazon? Not well, says Rob Spillman at Salon: “On the Goodreads Facebook page, sentiment about the acquisition is running 10-to-one against it. Many members felt proprietary about the site and posted with surprising venom that they felt betrayed and were going to delete their accounts. A typical response: ‘You screwed us over. Take your money and run. You know the site you worked so hard on’ will be corrupted by Amazon.”

At the Awl, Jim Behrle has some practical advice for aspiring writers: “The Creative Writing Industry has failed the American Writer by a) not teaching them how to write bestsellers and b) not really preparing them for the life writers really have to live, the things they actually will have to do to get their work ‘out there.’"

Faulkner’s Nobel Prize, as well as several of his lost stories, hand-corrected manuscripts and letters are headed to Sotheby’s for auction in June.

The seventh annual New York Anarchist Book Fair kicks off next weekend.

Thomas Pynchon’s novel V turns fifty this month. At Page Turner, Alexander Nazaryan considers the similarities between the 1963 novel and Pynchon’s forthcoming book, Bleeding Edge, which takes place in “the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11.”

Andrew Motion, England’s former Poet Laureate, is calling on the government to heavily tax second homes in order to preserve local communities and “make owning a second home difficult for all but the very wealthy.”

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