October 2, 2013

Bestselling author Tom Clancy died this morning of undisclosed caused as a hospital in Baltimore. He was sixty-six. The Times has more. 

In a puzzled and negative review of Jonathan Franzen’s The Kraus Project, Dwight Garner wonders how Franzen “could loom so tall in his novels yet seem so shriveled in his nonfiction,” and notes that while Franzen’s “drive-by pea shootings” on technology fall short, the author’s “whole mode of being — the way he mostly runs silent and deep, issuing a novel every 10 years or so, refusing to embrace social media — was already his most incisive possible rebuke to the way he suspects so many of us live now.”

The Paris Review and New York’s Standard Hotel East are teaming up to offer a three-week residency next January to an author with a book already under contract. Submissions will be judged by Paris Review and Standard Culture editors, and is open to writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Breakfast comes included, room service does not, and “It is expected that the writer will stay alone, within reason.”

David Bowie has shared his list of 100 “must-read” books, and it appears he’s still afraid of Americans: Susan Jacoby’s 2008 bestseller The Age of American Unreason is at the top.

urlThe Man Who Laughs, a little-known 1869 novel by Victor Hugo that is best known for inspiring a 1928 film whose poster inspired the Batman character the Joker, is once again available for purchase. Boing Boing suggests that there is probably a reason the book has long been out of print: “As legions of disappointed Batman fans have discovered, the Victor Hugo novel is just not very good. It’s one of Hugo’s later works, written from exile in the Channel Islands, and it’s a meandering political treatise grafted onto a novel.”

The unexpected parallels between Edward Snowden and George Orwell.

Writer Dan Zevin, author of Dan Gets a Mini-Van: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad, won the $5,000 Thurber Prize for American Humor this week at a ceremony in New York.

In advance of an upcoming sex issue of the New York Times Book Review, the editors have asked readers to write in and share their first experience reading an illicit work of literature.

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