On the first episode of All Things Considered of the new year in 2001, there was a story on the many children of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins coming together and meeting for the first time. When I say many, I don’t mean Catholic or Hasidic many, I mean 57. The man who crooned “I put a Spell on You” and “Constipation Blues” had 57 children living in various places, and they all came together for this reunion of sorts.
I thought about that reunion when I watched Edward Champion’s video documenting the many books blurbed by Gary Shteyngart. How many books are out there with Mr. Shteyngart’s blurb? Why is he such a chronic blurber? I don’t know. But Mr. Champion has done a little mitzvah by bringing together a bunch of folks like Adam Wilson, Jacob Silverman, Rachel Shukert, Jonathan Ames, and many others to ruminate over the words that Shteyngart has sent to publishers to be placed on the cover of some various novel.