September/October 2006

After the success of Look at Me, her eerily prescient social satire of American life, what did Jennifer Egan turn to next? The gothic novel, of course.


Powers of Perception: A Profile of Jennifer Egan

by Jessica George Firger
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Fiction writer Jennifer Egan experiments with the gothic form in her new novel The Keep.

A Testament of Fate: A Profile of Daniel Mendelsohn

by Andrea Crawford
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Critic Daniel Mendelsohn traces family members killed in the Holocaust in his new memoir The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million.

Hold Back and Give: A Profile of Alice Notley

by Natasha Lehrer
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Poet Alice Notley gathered poems from over twenty books—some out of print—or her new collection Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970—2005.

Independent Presses

Featherproof Books: Using a Dose of Humor to Sell Fiction

by Kevin Larimer
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Zach Dodson and Jonathan Messinger use humor to promote Featherproof Books titles.

Ryan Murphy's One-Shots: Discovering the Real Work of Poetry

by Thomas Hopkins
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Each handmade chapbook published by Ryan Murphy has a unique name given to its "press."

News and Trends

More to the Story: Janet Fitch

by Staff

Although Janet Fitch's Paint It Black, published this month by Little, Brown, is a work of fiction, the author drew inspiration from many genres, most notably poetry, while she was working on her follow-up to White Oleander.

Literary MagNet

by Kevin Larimer

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 Paris Review, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, the Iowa Review, and Speakeasy.

Marathon Readers Go the Distance

by Anna Mantzaris

As the number of poetry readings in communities across the country continues to grow, a format that was once relatively rare—the marathon—is becoming increasingly popular.

Shakespearean Drama Gets Graphic

by Jen A. Miller

Workman Publishing imprint Black Dog and Leventhal reissues King Lear and Macbeth, the illustrated Shakespeare plays originally published in the 1980s—before graphic novels acquired a mainstream audience—as part of its Graphic Shakespeare series.

Poetry's Roadshow

by Timothy Schaffert

Fueled by equal parts biodiesel gas and small press ambition, the Wave Books 2006 Poetry Bus Tour is scheduled to roll through forty-nine cities during the next two months, beginning in Seattle on September 4.

The Practical Writer

You Ought to Be In Pictures: A Story Writer's Guide to Film Adaptation

by Stephanie Harrison
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Short stories have frequently proven a good fit for movie adaptations.

Making [Up] History: A Guide to the Art of Anthologies

by T Cooper and Adam Mansbach
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The editors of the anthology A Fictional History of the United States with Huge Chunks Missing talk about the process of compiling the book.

The Literary Life

The Posthumous Pickle: Some Notes on the Rough Work of Genius

by Ken Gordon
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The posthumous publication of Elizabeth Bishop's Edgar Allan Poe and the Juke-Box raises questions about what to do with writers' drafts.

Imperative: The Pressure to Be Exotic

by Azita Osanloo

Let me be the last—the absolute dead last—to point out that we're in the midst of a memoir craze. My favorite form of procrastination used to be computer solitaire, but now I prefer to chat on the phone with my writing friends and discuss the ongoing boom in autobiographical literature. We speculate like housing developers prognosticating on the real estate market. Will the bubble pop? Will prices continue to rise? Will market trends ever again veer toward literary fiction?