Category: what’s new

I miss you, Denis Johnson

“I stood at home plate, vomit on my blouse & whiskey in my blood, & heard the dirt of my hometown falling grain by grain out of the afternoon.”
#DenisJohnson, who wrote two perfect books & one sprawling, monstrous, ungainly masterpiece, national treasure, hearty soul, sober since 1983, I saw you read once & you shook

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Category: what’s new

Cortázar’s Apocalypse

The following is from Literature Class, a collection of eight lectures Julio Cortázar delivered at Berkeley in 1980. Translated by Katherine Silver.
What I wanted to say?—??and perhaps this is the reason for the misunderstanding?—??and what I will repeat now perhaps more clearly, is that at this time, above all, and very especially in Latin America

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Category: what’s new

Matthiessen

On this day in 2014, I had the great honor of interviewing the indomitable Peter Matthiessen for @lareviewofbooks. He’s one of my writing heroes. Far Tortuga shaped my early writing life as much as any book. I read the book to my mom while she was recovering from brain cancer & I have no doubt the haiku-like stillness

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Category: what’s new

Secret Octagon Society

My grandfather, Harold Milne Alexander, and his brother, Robert Alexander, started a group when they were in high school called the Secret Octagon Society (SOS).
In 1989, Robert was interviewed for an oral history project about architecture at the University of California at Los Angeles. The text of the entire interview is online here.
ALEXANDER: We had a meeting

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Category: what’s new

Category: what’s new

Category: what’s new

Iggy Pop on ‘The White City’

Iggy Pop, the grandfather of punk, deejays a radio show on @BBC radio 6. During a recent episode, while introducing Chicagoan Howlin’ Wolf’s song “Killing Floor,” Iggy started talking about Chicago and its dark history—and he ended up plugging my novel, The White City.
You can listen to Mr. Pop—and his great Chicago-Detroit accent—here:
http://soundcloud.com/alejandrored/iggy-pop-talking-the-white/s-ynCo4

Category: what’s new

Category: what’s new

Inventor

My grandfather on my mom’s side, Harold Milne Alexander, reputed distant relative of AA, inventor of Pooh, was himself an inventor. One of his most important innovations was figuring out how glass curved and could be safely used in automobiles. He was employed by Libbey-Owens-Ford, so he didn’t detain the patent, but he never seemed

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Category: what’s new

Whitmania

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat

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