Frontrunners: Post-Election Takeaways for Obama and Romney in Jose Saramago’s “Seeing”

To celebrate Tuesday’s proceedings – when Brooklynites and whoever else lives in America cast their votes for state and national candidates – Vol. 1 today presents the third and final installment of of Frontrunners: a short series examining novels about elections and their entrants. May these profiles celebrate both citizenship and the sensual art of civics itself. With any luck, the “absentee ballads” vetted here might even find their way to President Re-Up and Governor Sideburns, and offer both men […]

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Frontrunners: Last Minute Tips for Obama and Romney in V.S. Naipaul’s “The Suffrage of Elvira”

To prep for (hopefully) tonight’s grand finale, when Brooklynites and whoever else lives in America will cast their votes for state and national candidates, Vol. 1 Brooklyn presents part two of Frontrunners: a short series examining novels about elections and their entrants. May these profiles both rally citizens and celebrate the sensual art of civics itself. With any luck, the “absentee ballads” vetted here might even find their way to President Obama and Governor Sideburns, and offer both men solace […]

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Frontrunners: What Obama and Romney Can Learn from Philip Roth’s “Our Gang”

To prep for November 6th – when Brooklynites and whoever else lives in America will cast their votes for state and national candidates – Vol. 1 Brooklyn today premieres Frontrunners: a weekly series examining novels about elections and their entrants. May these profiles both rally citizens, and celebrate the sensual art of civics itself. With any luck, the “absentee ballads” vetted here might even find their way to President Obama and Governor Sideburns, and offer both men solace and inspiration […]

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Bites: Zadie Smith, Obama Bowing, Studs Terkel was a Watched Man, Pondering Proust, End of the Decade Lists, New Moon vs. Gilmore Girls, and More

SF Chronicle and L.A. Times both review Zadie Smith’s Changing My Mind.  The Millions comment on the reviews “non-committal, guarded praise” and go on to call it “wunderkind jealousy”. The Guardian says of Smith, “criticism is a bodily pleasure“. Time Out New York weighs in on Changing, name drops a bunch of other great writers while doing so.  End up liking the book. Lit. The FBI kept an eye on Studs Terkel, considering him a “suspected communist”.  Surprised?  Saul Bellow […]

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Bites: PEN’s Spelling Bee, Fitzgerald’s Taxes, Whitman’s Jeans, Obama the Comic, France Hates Scientology, and more

Last night at Le Poisson Rouge, some of New York’s biggest writers got together for a spelling bee to benefit PEN American center’s literary journal, PEN America and the release of their eleventh issue, “Make Believe.” Lit. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns.(Thanks, The Rumpus) Whoa, another e-reader from Barnes & Noble?  I’m totally confused. Today, we’re tackling e-readers and book reading, I guess.  First, Book Bench with Bruce McCalls’ new book Fifty Things to do with a Book (Now that […]

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Bites: Media Battles (Ever-Present), Franco’s Face, Humility as ‘Sin,’ Tony Judt, and the Bad News For Big Business

New Media, Old Media, and E-readers Barnes and Noble’s e-reader, the Nook, looks promising as  Kindle competitor (and book sharing device!). The Rumpus’ account of last week’s New Yorker Festival is titled “James Franco’s Face.” Jacket Copy suggests that because their paper gave Le Clézio’s Désert a bad review, that the Nobel Prize in Literature is becoming “esoteric” and “wrong-headed.” Ugh, close-minded print newspaper. And now to take back the above statement about print media back with Harper’s lovely “Blake–To […]

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Bites: The last Nobel mentions (maybe…), libraries in trouble, browsing, new Tom Waits, Mussolini working for the Brits, and more

One final Nobel link roundup. The New Yorker on President Obama’s “Nobel surprise“. N+1 says: “The peace prize’s reputation makes it a powerful tool. It’s not always the right tool, and it’s not always effective, but it’s good to have around.” “Herta who?” Drama over the economics Nobel winner? Lit. Dave Eggers, Jay Leno, and Roger Ebert.  What do they all have in common?  They are all in a book talking about their favorite childhood books. Over at McSweeney’s, a […]

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