Quick Hits

1. I’ve never read 2009 Nobel Prize winner Herta Mueller, but I know a few people who recommend her work (Harold Bloom, meanwhile, is unimpressed). The Literary Saloon has more substantial coverage.

2. Herta Mueller writes about Romania during the painful years of the Nicolai Ceausecsu regime, and coincidentally I’ve been reading a impressive new novel about the same subject, Velvet Totalitarianism by Claudia Moscovici. You can find an excerpt from the introduction on the author’s MySpace page.


3. Thurston Moore is starting a new publishing company, Ecstatic Peace Library. Maybe he’ll win a Nobel Prize too, since there seem to be a lot of them going around right now.

4. A really impressive lineup of writers will be at the Miami International Book Fair this November: Orhan Pamuk, Richard Powers, Roxana Robinson, Dan Choan, Sherman Alexie, Fiona Maazel, David Hajdu, Tao Lin, Jonathan Lethem, Ralph Nader, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Lydia Davis, Susie Essman, Robert Olen Butler, Mary Gordon, Tom Hayden, Margaret Atwood, Jayne Anne Phillips, Po Bronson, Richard Belzer, Harold Evans, John Freeman, Al Gore, Isabella Rossellini, John Hodgman, Tracy Kidder, Sam Tanenhaus, Melvin Van Peebles and Iggy Pop (!). Not too shabby.

5. “N+1 is to thinking as a Renaissance Festival is to warfare.” Not sure I agree with the generalization about N+1 but it’s a funny line.

6. Norman Juster and Jules Feiffer are finally following up The Phantom Tollbooth with a new book, The Odious Ogre.

7. More children’s book news: a new character named Lottie the Otter is showing up in a new pseudo-A. A. Milne Winnie the Pooh book. I find it hard to believe that Christopher Robin Milne would have ever had a stuffed animal named Lottie the Otter, so I’m not down with this.

8. Bill Ectric’s been writing about social activist Stetson Kennedy for a while, and would like the world to know that a new version of Kennedy’s The Klan Unmasked is finally out.

9. Thoreau and jigsaw puzzles.

10. Daniel Nester, LitKicks’s old karaoke pal, is surfacing with some trenchant observations of today’s literary scenes.

11. Tomorrow in New York City: Naked Lunch at 50!

12. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest as a Broadway musical? I dunno about this

13. Jokes Cracked by Lord Aberdeen. The book cover makes it work.

14. David Small talks about his unusual visual memoir, Stitches.

5 Responses

  1. herta’s last name is mueller
    herta’s last name is mueller (müller), not meuller, and her dense and poetic language full of images is sure worth a read.

    i haven’t read much of her (only “niederungen”, a collection of short stories published and censored in bukarest in the early 80s, and some of her poetry (“im haarknoten wohnt eine dame” – ‘a lady lives in the hair knot’), but what i’ve read was very intense.

  2. Thanks for the correction!
    Thanks for the correction! “A lady lives in the hair knot” sounds quite intriguing.

    And, on another point, a person at the NY Public Library asked me to reconsider my feelings about Lottie the Otter, and sent along this video. Fair enough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-fgfTKN88c

  3. Ever read I Need More, a book
    Ever read I Need More, a book written by Iggy Pop And
    Some boho chick?

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