The State of the Short Story

From Publishers Weekly (Hat tip: Frank Wilson)

Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, tells us that if you think short stories are dead, you aren’t paying close enough attention.

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John Grisham: By the Book

Interview from The New York Times—one example:

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

“Fifty Shades of Grey.” Why should he miss all the fun? Plus, it might loosen him up a bit.

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Random House and Penguin Are Negotiating a Merger

A big change in the publishing business, from The New York Times:

The potential consolidation comes as traditional publishers try to compete with dominant technology companies like AmazonApple and Google that have gained power in the e-book market. Lower prices offered by retailers like Amazon have put pressure on publishers to adjust their digital book strategy at a time when brick-and-mortar stores have been disappearing.

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Struggling to Reconcile Conflicting Beliefs? Listen to Some Mozart

From Pacific Standard:

Why is music such a constant in human history? Perhaps because it helps us build the emotional maturity we need to advance intellectually.

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“As He Pleased” On George Orwell

From Bookforum:

We know from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four that he thought of the diary as a potentially seditious form. Diaries are not illegal in the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four because nothing is—Airstrip One’s legal code has been abolished. But Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith, understands the consequences of committing his private thoughts and personal observations to the page well before he lifts his pen to print the words “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER.” “If detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labor camp,” Orwell wrote. As Smith prepares to scribble his first passage, he asks himself why he’s keeping a diary, and surmises that it’s a letter to the future, to the unborn.

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PJ O’Rourke on Political Satire

From The Browser—FiveBook Interviews:

PJ O’Rourke talks Swift, Huxley, Orwell and Waugh and says we now live in the world of 1984 but, instead of being a horror show, a television that looks back at you is just a pain in the ass.


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Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift

From  Anne Helen Petersen at the hairpin—the introductory paragraph:

Montgomery Clift had the most earnest of faces: big, pleading eyes, a set jaw, and a side part that reminds you of old pictures of your granddad. Onscreen and off, he was what the kids these days would call “an emo” and the least generous of your friends would call a “sad sack.” If he lived in the ‘90s, he would have been king of the heartfelt mixtape. Clift played the desperate, the drunken, and the deceived, and along with Brando and Dean, heralded a new direction in cinematic masculinity. But a car crash in the prime of his career left him in constant pain, and he drank himself to an early death. The trajectory of his life was as tragic as any of his films. But for 12 years, he set Hollywood aflame.


Indian Fiction in America

From The Millions:

Fiction written in English by authors of Indian descent has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful for decades. Now a new wave of talent has arrived…