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May 7, 2013

Shorties (Haruki Murakami on His New Novel, Stream the New Vampire Weekend Album, and more)

Haruki Murakami made his first public appearance in Japan in 18 years to discuss his new novel.

"At the beginning, I was planning to write something allusive, as in my past works," Murakami said at the seminar on Monday. "But this time I developed a great interest in expanding on real people. Then the characters started to act on their own. I was intrigued by the relationships between people."

Stream Vampire Weekend's new album, Modern Vampire of the City at iTunes.

History in the Headlines lists the most famous literary hoaxes.

DC9 at Night lists 10 Texas blues albums you must hear before you die.

Margaret Atwood talks technology with the New Republic.

"We are in the early days of web invention," she says. "Whenever we invent a new thing, there's a flurry of activity where people try all kinds of stuff with it. People open the toy box and they play with the toys in astonishing ways. And as with any new technology, people are mesmerized by it at first."

West Coast Sound interviews Patti Smith.

More often than not, people simply want to translate success with one discipline into that of another, without any consideration for the shift. But, like you said, you really try to master each form.

I'm much too self-centeredly ambitious to simply be content with the transfer of success from one realm to another. I would rather write or record something great and have it overlooked than do mediocre work and have it be popular. My goals are really work-oriented. I don't stay in one discipline because it's more lucrative than another. In fact, the most successful thing I ever did was Just Kids, for which I had absolutely no expectations. I just wanted to do a beautiful little book that would give Robert [Mapplethorpe] to the people. And then it became a global success. It's so funny, because Robert always cared about me becoming successful, while I never did. It's almost like he was suddenly saying, "Dammit, Patti, you're gonna be successful, even if I have to make it happen!" I always laugh when I think that my greatest success came through Robert.

Flavorwire recommends books to Jay Gatsby.

Thom Yorke performed the Radiohead song "Karma Police" solo on The Jonathan Ross Show.

Vulture interviews author brothers Owen King and Joe Hill.

Stereogum lists the 10 best songs by The Band.

Ms. Magazine finds that the new Great Gatsby film doesn't portray flappers correctly.

...if you think flappers were only about drop-waist dresses, fox furs, cloche hats and excessive celebration, you're missing the point. The trouble with Gatsby is, as beautifully as F. Scott Fitzgerald describes the opulent world of 1920s high society in his novel, he gets flappers all wrong. That's because he portrays this liberated "New Woman" through the eyes of men.

The 2013 Austin City Limits Music festival lineup was announced.

The Oxford American interviews Nathaniel Rich about his new novel Odds Against Tomorrow.

OXFORD AMERICAN: You’ve long been a magazine journalist, and now you're an established novelist with two lauded efforts to your name. How do you reconcile these two occupations? Is it difficult to navigate back and forth between nonfiction and fiction?

NATHANIEL RICH: Fiction takes priority, but a novel can take years to complete and there are lots of pauses built into the process. During those breaks I write short stories, but I also find it healthy to get out of my house, talk to strangers, and put myself in uncomfortable situations. The writers I most admire are those who, though they may be novelists first, also dedicated themselves to other forms, like criticism, essays, translation—writers like Mark Twain, George Orwell, Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer. Martin Amis is the best example. I think he's the greatest living literary critic, but I love his novels even more.

Win Anthony Marra's debut novel and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics & graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
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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