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With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Masande Ntshanga’s debut novel, The Reactive, and Emma Straub’s third novel, Modern Lovers, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.
What literature can do that op-eds cannot; Ian McKellen returns $1.4 million memoir advance; James Hannaham wins $15,000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; and other news.
Tim Parks on the state of translation; five ways Infinite Jest predicted the future; T. S. Eliot’s notes on detective fiction; and other news.
PEN to honor J. K. Rowling at annual literary awards ceremony; Janet Malcolm finds fault in Ted Hughes biographer; poet Ada Limón on the value of not writing; and other news.
Patti Smith on Frida Kahlo’s love letters; controversial book rises to prominence; New York Times names media columnist replacement for David Carr; and other news.
Mira Ptacin reads an excerpt from her debut memoir, Poor Your Soul, published in January by Soho Press.
Poor Your Soul
I know some things. I know you set the backyard on fire. It was autumn. You were six years old. The oak leaves were dry and crispy. You and your pal Don Johnson, that blond-haired, blue-eyed kid from St. Philip Elementary School who threw up every time he got excited, were playing in the backyard. I’m assuming you guys found the matches in the pile on Dad’s workbench.
Value of first editions of twentieth-century classics increases; Roland Barthes at one hundred; “experimental” Millennial bookstore to open in London; and other news.
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