Since the end of July sort of eluded me and August looks to be similarly fast-paced, I thought I’d offer some mid-summer writing link goodness now. Consider this the summer edition of writing links. And consider me possibly away from the blog for a bit while I attempt to get at least a few days of sun before the summer is over. Getting sun, alas, involves leaving the city of San Francisco and its notoriously chilly, fog-filled days. Bon voyage! Enjoy –
The Best Magazine Articles Ever, including some real classics like “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” by Gay Talese, “Consider the Lobster,” by David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That,” a few by Hunter S. Thompson, and so on. A great list and some fine narrative nonfiction reading.
“Torture your protagonist” is one of author Janet Fitch’s Ten Rules for Writers.
A Q & A with Gary Shteyngart: “I don’t know how to read anymore. I can only read 20 or 30 words at a time before taking out my iPhone and caressing it and snuggling with it.” Shteyngart has been all over the place recently, promoting his new book, Super Sad True Love Story, with a hilarious trailer, appearances, etc. I really enjoyed the interview with him on NPR’s Fresh Air. (I also just noticed that he’ll be reading in SF at the Bookshop in West Portal on Aug. 7, with a couple of other Bay Area appearances scheduled as well.)
A Fresh Breed of Literary Magazines, from the Independent. “It’s good to try to challenge the more established magazines. They don’t always deserve to be there.”
Book Preview 2010 from The Millions. So many yummy books, so little time. Also, so many still in hardback. Sigh.
A big deal: “Many writers may start to ask themselves whether they still need to sign up with traditional publishers at all.”
What if your story or essay or poem was accepted by one of the best lit mags out there … And then it wasn’t.
Hilarious. Sad. But, still, kind of hilarious. Excerpts from actual one-star Amazon.com reviews of books from Time’s list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present. (My favorite is taken from a review of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and could be me quoted verbatim circa 1987 when I had to read that novel in 10th grade: “While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt.”)
Nice piece about author Barbara Kingsolver in the Irish Times.
And, finally, Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, one of my favorite novels, is being adapted into a movie, directed by Tran Anh Hung. Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood is writing the score. The film will be released in Japan in December. Not sure about in the U.S. and elsewhere.