The main thing is to make a fuss.

At The Rumpus, Elissa Bassist posts a hilarious, mostly imaginary interview with Elaine Showalter. The focus, as you might expect, is on women and writing, but like both, it is also so much more than that.

I often explain to my mother that to be a writer means to suffer mercilessly and experiment with prescription medication.

Go read. Just do it. It's that good.



At The Millions, Sonya Chung posts a sane, smart response to Katie Roiphe's recent NYT essay, in which she complains about the tentative approach to sex preferred by four contemporary American novelists. (In Roiphe's essay, this handful of writers is taken quite wrongly to be somehow representative of the whole of current American fiction).

Chung's essay is worth reading in its entirety, not least because she generously includes a hilarious catalogue, with examples (!), of ways that eros goes all wrong on the page. More seriously, she draws the reader's attention to the under-recognized writing of James Salter, and rightly so, because he does get it right, and spectacularly so, in his novel A Sport and a Pastime.

Chung: "The first time I read A Sport and a Pastime, just two years ago, I knew I'd experienced something unusual, alive, difficult in its directness; not something to look upon 'fondly,' but a story that, like all great art, connected me more deeply and truthfully to my whole human self -- sans irony or 'cool.''


Zodiac Book a Heritage Key Pick for 2010

Heritage Key features THE ZODIAC OF PARIS in a roundup of books to watch this year:

"The Zodiac of Paris by Jed Z. Buchwald and Diane Greco Josefowicz is a study of the Dendera zodiac, an ancient bas-relief temple ceiling adorned with mysterious symbols of the stars and planets. It was first discovered by the French during Napoleon's campaign in Egypt, and quickly provoked a controversy between scientists and theologians. Brought to Paris in 1821 and ultimately installed in the Louvre (where it can still be seen today), the zodiac appeared to depict the night-time sky from a time predating the Biblical creation, and therefore cast doubt on religious truth. Jed Z. Buchwald and Diane Greco Josefowicz give a comprehensive account of this incredible archaeological find and its role in disputes over science and faith."