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September 29, 2007


Torontoist interviews author Sheila Heti.

The Middle Stories and Ticknor exasperated some people, but they appealed to many more, and there does seem to be an appetite these days for unconventional, sometimes surreal fiction. I'm thinking of authors like Haruki Murakami, and older writers like Borges and Beckett also spring to mind. What is it about this kind of writing that appeals to people?

In fiction it's just as easy to make something realistic as it is to make it unusual. Its easy for the writer and it's easy for the reader. Then there's the question of pleasure—there's probably greater pleasure in imagining things that you wouldn't have imagined on your own. But it surprises me to hear that there's a great appetite for the authors you mention—I don't perceive it. Anyway, I think a person would be drawn to Beckett for one reason, and Murakami for a different reason, and so on. Any writer who is loved is loved the way a human is—for something essential to themselves, not something general—like sureallness or unconventionality.

The Campus Press expounds upon the importance of indie music.

The New York Times reviews the most talked-about novel of the season, Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

In "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," Díaz, the author of a book of sexy, diamond-sharp stories called "Drown," shows impressive high-low dexterity, flashing his geek credentials, his street wisdom and his literary learning with equal panache.

The Cincinnati Post profiles the city's Midpoint Music Festival.

The Library of Congress hosts the National Book Festival today on the Mall in Washington.

IGN offers a "sonic FAQ" to the songs in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

The Bygone Bureau lists indie rock t-shirts that would never sell.

In the New York Times, Stephen King decries the current state of the American short story.

EpiLog lists the top ten food books (specifically not cookbooks) every chef should own. (A great list, by the way. I just finished The Omnivore's Dilemma and it changed the way I view food. The only addition I would make to the list is Jay Weinstein's The Ethical Gourmet.)

NPR's All Things Considered profiles singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

Author Jonathan Lethem talks to Comic Book Resources about his comics debut, Omega the Unknown.

As to why he would choose a relatively unknown character as the nexus of his first foray into mainstream comics, Lethem told CBR News, “Sheer and perverse adoration of the original. When Marvel invited me into their vault of iconography, I simply leapt at the icon that resonated most deeply with me."

Minnesota Public Radio's the Current features Australia's Augie March with an interview and in-studio performance.

NPR is streaming last night's Washington performance by Animal Collective.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 Austin City Limits Music Festival downloads
this week's CD releases


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