The finalists for the 2013 National Book Awards have been announced. In fiction, they’re Rachel Kushner for The Flamethrowers, Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland, James McBride for The Good Lord Bird, Thomas Pynchon for Bleeding Edge, and George Saunders for Tenth of December. In nonfiction, they’re Jill Lepore for Book of Ages, Wendy Lower for Hitler’s Furies, George Packer for The Unwinding, Alan Taylor for The Internal Enemy, and Lawrence Wright for Going Clear. The rest of the nominees are available here.
Courtesy of The Onion: “10 Sandwiches that Look Like British Novelist Martin Amis.”
In an interview with the Guardian, recently minted Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton discusses the role that gender plays in how writers are received: “I have observed that male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel. In my experience, and that of a lot of other women writers, all of the questions coming at them from interviewers tend to be about how lucky they are to be where they are…The interviews much more seldom engage with the woman as a serious thinker, a philosopher, as a person with preoccupations that are going to sustain them for their lifetime.”
Mary Gaitskill pens an open letter to The Rumpus in response to Suzanne Rivecca’s essay “What Men Talk About When They Talk About Mary Gaitskill,” which targeted “male super-bitches” James Wolcott and William Deresiewicz for attacking her work on the basis of gender. In response, Gaitskill writes, “opinions about my work vary wildly, but I haven’t observed that it’s predictable along gender lines, and in truth some of my best support has come from men.” For more of Gaitskill’s thoughts on gender, read her essay on Gone Girl for the fall issue of Bookforum.
Journalists: They’re not only expected to write anymore. An article in Forbes details their new responsibilities: “like members of a youth basketball team raising money for a trip to nationals, staffers at The New Republic have been hawking subscriptions to their friends and family members for the past two weeks as part of an intra-office contest.”
The Telegraph excerpts Donna Tartt’s latest novel, The Goldfinch.