April 18, 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died yesterday at the age of 87. He won the Nobel Prize in 1982, and his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is a cornerstone of magical-realist fiction. His philosophy might be boiled down to a statement he once made to the Paris Review: “A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.”

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell

Disgraced journalist Jonah Lehrer has launched a new blog, and Malcolm Gladwell recommends that you read it.

Colm Toibin has been chosen to serve as the chairman of the PEN World Voices Festival, starting in 2015.

At the New Yorker, Gary Shteyngart satirizes his prolific book-blurbing with an open letter saying he is going to discard his blurbing pen … except a few choice exceptions.

The New York Times notes English football’s (a k a soccer) growing popularity in the US, especially among the “creative class” in Brooklyn, and quotes memoirist Rosie Schaap to the effect that most literati are Arsenal fans: “Any time I’m at a book party or reading, and soccer comes up in conversation, I find myself surrounded by young men in shabby-genteel, loosely fitting tweed jackets gushing over the Gunners . . . In such settings, being an Arsenal supporter is even more predictable than having an M.F.A. or a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.” Of course, since Ms. Schaap is an avowed fan of Arsenal’s north London rival, Tottenham Hotspur, her portrayal of American Arsenal fans as run-of-the-mill hipsters should be taken with a grain of salt.

James Franco has called New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley a “little bitch.”

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