October 17, 2014
believermag:

New York:
Monday, October 20th at 7pm: The Believer presents READ HARDER at McNally Jackson Books. Join contributors Heidi Julavits, Megan Abbott, and Lev Grossman  for a discussion on The Art of the Essay: Ethics, Editors, and Balancing Fiction and Nonfiction. 
See more info.

See you there, believers.

believermag:

New York:

Monday, October 20th at 7pm: The Believer presents READ HARDER at McNally Jackson Books. Join contributors Heidi Julavits, Megan Abbott, and Lev Grossman  for a discussion on The Art of the Essay: Ethics, Editors, and Balancing Fiction and Nonfiction. 

See more info.

See you there, believers.

October 16, 2014
Put a bird on it.

Put a bird on it.

October 15, 2014
"I do not share the pessimism of the age about the novel. They are one of our greatest spiritual, aesthetic and intellectual inventions. As a species it is story that distinguishes us, and one of the supreme expressions of story is the novel. Novels are not content. Nor are they are a mirror to life or an explanation of life or a guide to life. Novels are life, or they are nothing."

Richard Flanagan, on accepting the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

October 14, 2014
52 Fear Street: David Foster Wallace’s rewrite of Beach House

Val recovers a DFW rewrite of R.L. Stine from deep in the Wallace archive, and it’s discovery so good she deserves at least a Toblerone or two.

mcnallykids:

Welcome to 52 Fear Street, McNally Jackson’s month-long celebration of R.L. Stine. Join us on October 30th for an evening with Mr. Stine himself and his Fear Street editor Kat Brzozowski, and follow the #52FearSt tags on tumblr and Twitter to hear what authors, booksellers, and editors have to say about Fear Street and Goosebumps. 

Today’s post was recently discovered in David Foster Wallace’s archives by McNally Jackson Bookseller Valerie. 

David Foster Wallace’s rewrite of Fear Street: Beach House

written in 1999

———-

Summer of 1956
YEAR OF BEING WORRIED ABOUT SHARKS

Maria was coming to regret her decision to go swimming alone with Buddy in the late afternoon. She felt ambiguously uneasy now that the shoreline was obscured by the haze of the swirling/grey/cloak of fog and Buddy, who had been uncharacteristically(1) eager w/r/t getting into water and away from shore, had begun swimming in subtle but malevolent-seeming concentric circles of increasing proximity to her.

It was unnerving, she had to admit, that they were already so far from shore, even though it seemed (to Maria) like it was only a second ago that Buddy had grabbed her by the arm and lead her through the dark/encroaching fog, and into the water, which was, she had remarked to Buddy in an effort to emphasize the sacrifice inherent in her concession to this late afternoon/early evening swim, exceptionally cold and calm.(2)

There was no reason to panic,(3) she reasoned. Buddy, despite being Very Serious and Not That Fun, was proving to be a disarmingly good swimmer and also extremely forgiving of her failure to go on a date him (Buddy) the night before, Maria having been succumbed to Stuart’s(4) suggestion that she to go to instead to the drive-in movies in his (Stuart’s) dad’s pink convertible Thunderbird with grey leather seats. She was sure that even if she been complicit in The Incident that involved stealing Buddy’s swim trunks and leaving him naked in the ocean while she went to the drive-in movies with Stu-”Mr. Real Cool Cat”-art in his dad’s pink convertible, he (Buddy) benevolently bared her no ill will, and she was therefore kind of obligated to keep swimming with him in this heavy/shroud-like fog.

Maria, now disoriented, still lacking confidence in her swimming, accosted by increasingly chilly currents and the tantalizing memory of Stuart’s dad’s convertible, was feeling particularly dejected. Buddy, she noticed, had stopped swimming in concentric circles growing ever closer to her and disappeared, and she was being circled now only by the heavy/unseasonable/churning fog. Feeling confused and frightened particularly w/r/t whether or not she should feel confused and frightened, Maria decided that she would like to leave this situation A.S.A.P.

When Buddy appeared suddenly behind her, Maria expressed that one reason she was coming to regret her decision to go swimming alone with Buddy in the late afternoon cum early evening was because there had been myriad horrific shark attacks as of late.

Although Buddy assured her that the sharks would not bother her unless they smelled blood, Maria was not comforted, mainly because Buddy continued thereafter to inform her that despite his earlier acceptance of her apology that lead to this increasingly uncomfortable swim excursion, his feelings were still hurt from 1) when she took park in The Incident and 2) when she stood him up for Stuart and his (Stuart’s) dad’s convertible the evening before.(5)

Maria although apologetic, felt a little misled now that she was out in what could only be called the literal center of the Atlantic ocean surrounded by a dark/ominous fog, a particular position she did think she would have found herself in if she had not been attempting to compensate for her earlier faux-pas in the face of Buddy’s benevolence. She was now beginning suspect that perhaps the unfortunate conditions of their swim (i.e. the time of day, the fog, the temperature of the water, her own athletic shortcomings) were not simply circumstances of fate but rather orchestrated by a higher a power and/or Buddy.

Dark shapes. Skimming rapidly along the surface of the water. Like submarines.(6) Dark triangles moving silently toward them, cutting through the solid fog.

“Sharks,” said Buddy.

————-

1. Buddy has been described as a sourpuss/not a million laughs/very serious&not that fun

2. Not unlike Buddy himself. 

3. Maria was not necessarily a good swimmer, although she reminder herself while bobbing in the water, that her experience, even if limited to a few months of Red Cross lessons at the Y/family vacations in Dunhampton, was probably enough to make her a good swimmer after all what she really lacked was confidence. 

4. Stuart has been described as Mr. Rock n’ Roll/ Mr. Real Cool Cat

5. And when during the course of the conversation in which she had been persuaded by Stuart to stand up Buddy, she had agreed with Stuart’s suggestion that Buddy shared certain characteristics with That Puppet Howdy Doody when he smiled because smiling was not the natural state of his face, which was Very Serious. 

6. Although this simile seems unlikely, the Discovery Channel documentary “Shark of Darkness: The Wrath of Submarine” shows that sharks do sometimes resemble submersible watercrafts. 

October 9, 2014
nyrbclassics:


The coffee looked very harsh, very direct, and of a mean color, but I drank some, because the tonic was gone, now, and I had to do something. I don’t smoke.
—Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding

Got a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

Great book. And judging by the La Colombe cup, maybe shot across the street-ish from the store?

nyrbclassics:

The coffee looked very harsh, very direct, and of a mean color, but I drank some, because the tonic was gone, now, and I had to do something. I don’t smoke.

—Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding

Got a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

Great book. And judging by the La Colombe cup, maybe shot across the street-ish from the store?

October 8, 2014
Where to Go After Gone Girl

image

Can’t get enough of that queasy feeling you got after finishing Gone Girl? Have you been asking yourself, what else can I read that will make me equally uncomfortable?

Given that we’ve been answering this question literally every day for the past two years, we put our heads together and came up with a list. Here’s an unlucky thirteen novels, by female authors, that push some of the same buttons.

Read More

October 7, 2014
This weekend, downtown effectively transforms into one huge pop-up book as The New Yorker Festival takes over the city. As part of the fun, a cavalcade of authors will join us to sign books throughout the weekend. Bring your books (or find them here!) and check out the schedule below: 
Saturday, October 11:
12 noon — Carl Hiaasen
1pm — Junot Díaz • Zadie Smith
2pm — Dinaw Mengestu • Sam Lipsyte
3pm — Paul Theroux
4pm — Scott Turow
5pm — The Folio Society presents: Patti Smith signing Wuthering Heights
Sunday, October 12: 
12 noon — Roger Corman
1pm — Atul Gawande
2pm — Karen Russell • Akhil Sharma
3pm — Joyce Carol Oates
4pm — Elif Batuman • Gary Shteyngart
See you soon! 

This weekend, downtown effectively transforms into one huge pop-up book as The New Yorker Festival takes over the city. As part of the fun, a cavalcade of authors will join us to sign books throughout the weekend. Bring your books (or find them here!) and check out the schedule below: 

Saturday, October 11:

12 noon — Carl Hiaasen

1pm — Junot Díaz • Zadie Smith

2pm — Dinaw Mengestu • Sam Lipsyte

3pm — Paul Theroux

4pm — Scott Turow

5pm The Folio Society presents: Patti Smith signing Wuthering Heights

Sunday, October 12: 

12 noon — Roger Corman

1pm — Atul Gawande

2pm — Karen Russell • Akhil Sharma

3pm — Joyce Carol Oates

4pm — Elif Batuman • Gary Shteyngart

See you soon! 

October 6, 2014
"People,” Robinson said, pausing before she defined that familiar word in original terms: “Brilliant creatures, who at a very high rate, predictably, are incomprehensible to each other. If what people want is to be formally in society, to have status, to have loving relationships, houseplants that don’t die, the failure rate is phenomenal."

— From last weekend’s New York Times Magazine profile of Marilynne Robinson, on the occasion of the coming release of her long-awaited new novel Lila. Robinson will be appearing here on Thursday, October 16th.

October 6, 2014
"There’s no way to be in good faith on this island anymore."

— Zadie Smith, in a new piece for the New York Review of Books, on finding your beach.

2:53pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZDtOFy1SWqKKC
  
Filed under: zadie smith 
October 3, 2014

Next month’s Essays Book Club (which is one of several) will be a discussion of John Berger’s multimedia classic, Ways of Seeing. This book of illustrated critical essays on art and visual culture corresponds to a BBC documentary series of the same title, the first episode of which is above (and here are episodes two, three, and four).

We’re meeting November 5th at 7pm, and we’re bringing wine.

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