Author: Alec

David Mitchell

It might be my own childhood stammer–which, since these things never fully go away, creeps into my mid-adulthood–but I’ve always believed there is a deeply ingrained connection between writing and stammering. Not every stammerer grows up to become a writer, but certainly there has to be a link between the agonizing isolation of the stutterer

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Author: Alec

The World According To DFW

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has been on a spending spree for years, purchasing the papers of literary titans like James Agee, Norman Mailer, and Don DeLillo (among innumerable others).

Now, they’ve added David Foster Wallace’s sprawling scribblings to their collection, much of it available online. Highlights include a handwritten

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Author: Alec

Author: Alec

Barry Hannah on WWII & Writing

The great lit Web site The Rumpus has an intriguing piece about the late, great Barry Hannah. Apparently he was a bit of a WWII buff and gave a lecture at Bennington entitled “Military History as Regards Fiction: The Unquenchable Thirst about World War II.” Man, what I would’ve given to have been there.
Brooklyn writer A.N.

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Author: Alec

On Reality & Its Discontents

Quite possibly the most brazenly insubordinate and thought-provoking book I have read since Walter Benjamin‘s landmark essay “The Work of Art In the Age Of Mechanical Reproduction” is David Shields’s highly hyped “manifesto,” Reality Hunger. (Inverted sentence structure intended, BTW.)
I don’t know if I am yet prepared to follow Shields into the novels-are-not-really-novels wilderness, but

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Author: Alec

Author: Alec

Most Influential Novels of the Decade

Not the “best,” necessarily, but these are the novels, I think, which will cast the longest shadows to the writers of the future.

2000
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

2001
Tie: Ian McEwan, Atonement; Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

2002
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

2003
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces (now that we know it’s a novel)

2004
David

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Author: Alec

Author: Alec

Author: Alec