Barry Hannah has died. He was a great short-story author; Airships, in particular, is essential reading.
Here, a list of the best novel opening lines and a list of the best novel closing lines. (note: second list is a PDF and, naturally, contains spoilers) I like how William Gaddis invariably tells you the theme of his giant novels within the first few words (This is also the case with The Recognitions,
This book is problematic. I didn’t much like it myself, although conscience forces me to admit there’s some good stuff in here (particularly the sequence where the narrator participates in the savage beatdown of a pimp–the way that there’s absolutely no reflection on how “horrifying” it might be is disturbing and effective enough in itself,
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has scored the first interview with Bill Watterson in 20 years. –Jon W.
An excellent review/takedown (reviewdown?) of James Wood’s How Fiction Works, a book that the instructors at the University of Arizona have, for lack of a better phrase, been shoving down our throats the past year or so. My feelings are that it’s a worthwhile book so long as you realize that its title is a