July/August 2011

Our eleventh annual roundup of summer’s debut fiction; a special section on literary agents, including an inside look at how they strategize to get a book deal; a profile of novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell; Twitter for authors, and more.


A River, a Writer, and Her Gun: A Profile of Bonnie Jo Campbell

by Kevin Nance
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In her new novel, Once Upon a River, National Book Award finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell follows her rough-and-ready heroine, a kind of modern-day Annie Oakley, on a river odyssey through rural Michigan.

First Fiction 2011

by Staff
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For our eleventh annual roundup of the summer's best debut fiction, we asked five established authors—Steve Almond, Arthur Phillips, Hannah Tinti, Rigoberto González, and Kate Bernheimer—to introduce this year’s group of talented debut authors:...

Literary Agents

The Game Changers

by Staff
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Four agents who turned their debut writers into last summer’s hot authors talk about what drew them to the manuscripts, how they negotiated the deals, and what their authors did that made the difference.

News and Trends

A Poem for America

by Alex Dimitrov

America: Now and Here is a modern-day traveling show that brings the work of some of America’s leading poets, musicians, visual artists, playwrights, and filmmakers to audiences across the country.

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

by Staff

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 Kate Christensen's The Astral and Adam Zagajewski's Unseen Hand, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.

Writers’ Workshop at Seventy-Five

by Jeff Martin

In early June the Iowa Writers’ Workshop celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary with a reunion of faculty and alumni that brought together some of the most recognized names in literature today.

3 for Free

by Staff

In this regular feature, we offer a few suggestions for podcasts, smartphone apps, Web tools, newsletters, museum shows, and gallery openings: a medley of literary curiosities that you might enjoy.

Literary MagNet

by Staff

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue’s MagNet features the jubilat, the Yale Review, River Styx, Kugelmass, the Drum, and Knee-Jerk.


The Written Image: Maira Kalman

by Staff

In this issue we offer a look at Young Nabokov, a gouache by Maira Kalman, whose work will be on display in the exhibition Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) at the Jewish Museum in New York City until July 31.


Q&A: Casper’s Capital Plans for Poetry

by Catherine Richardson

As Robert Casper settled into his new role as the director of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress, he spoke about what the center has to offer and his plans for how to make the most of its resources and reach.

The Practical Writer

The Literary Life

A Literary Accounting: How I Made My First Million

by Marion Winik
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It might take more than twenty years and hundreds of small paychecks, but essayist and industrious bookkeeper Marion Winik proves a writer can make a million dollars without relying on blockbuster sales.

Why We Write: No Ordinary Bird

by Annam Manthiram
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As a young woman, Annam Manthiram discovered contemporary Indian women authors whose books opened her eyes to her mother’s struggles as a new American who didn’t understand English or know how to read.