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May 16, 2009

Shorties (Aleksandar Hemon, White Rabbits, and more)

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Aleksandar Hemon's new short story collection, Love & Obstacles.

The pattern of leaving and returning, and gaining melancholy wisdom in the process, holds Hemon's linked coming-of-age stories together with drifting beauty. The narrator will be instantly familiar to readers of Hemon: a young exile from Sarajevo ends up in Chicago, becomes a writer and explores what he calls, with tongue in cheek, his "complicated identifications." But the power of the collection is the way Hemon qualifies and recasts liberation as a kind of depletion: "I felt the intense pleasure of giving up," his narrator confesses, "the expansive freedom of utter defeat." Later, he describes "the freedom inherent in erasure."

WXPN is streaming yesterday's White Rabbits performance in its entirety.

In the Boston Globe, Stephen King reviews Elmore Leonard's new novel, Road Dogs.

The fun in the best of his novels - and this is the best in years - stems from the fact that Leonard starts turning the screws on page one and never stops. The dialogue crackles; the supporting characters are crisply drawn; and the story achieves almost instant escape velocity.

KOTV lists 10 books to read before they hit the big screen.

Robot 6 interviews cartoonist Nick Bertozzi.

NPR's Dick Meyer lists his 100 best novels of the past 100 years, which Jacket Copy notes includes just 7 female authors.

Gospel Gossip visits The Current studios for a streaming interview and performance.

This week's Largehearted Boy giveaway: the new Alina Simone/Black Swan 7" single along with a Black Swans album and Alina Simone's complete back catalog.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists


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