• December 12, 2014

    Nominate your favorite novel of the year to be a contender in the Morning News’ 2015 Tournament of Books.

    “Gamergate,” a loose confederation of (generally antifeminist) gamers upset about how gaming is portrayed, apparently cost Gawker seven figures, according to the company’s head of advertising. In response to a tweeted joke by writer Sam Biddle, gamergaters urged advertisers to pull ads. Gawker’s response to Biddle’s tweet and the gamergate reaction was “inconsistent and confused,” writes Peter Sterne at Capital New York.

    Tom McCarthy

    Tom McCarthy

    Tom McCarthy on realism at the London Review of Books: “That such blatant and splendid take-downs of naturalism are written into the core of the realist tradition makes the naive and uncritical realism dominating contemporary middlebrow fiction, and the doctrine of authenticity peddled by creative writing classes the world over, all the more simple-minded.”

    The Times chooses the best book covers of the year. Jesse Ball’s Silence Once Begun is especially beautiful.

    In 1950, Neal Cassady wrote a sixteen-thousand-word letter to Jack Kerouac that inspired Kerouac to rewrite On the Road in a style more like Cassady’s. (Cassady apparently found his inspiration in a ten-page letter written to him by John Clellon Holmes.) The “Joan Anderson letter,” as it’s called (after a girlfriend of Cassady’s), found its way into Allen Ginsberg’s hands, then disappeared. Kerouac said at one point that Ginsberg had given it to a friend on a houseboat who dropped it overboard, but in fact Ginsberg had sent it to a small press, where for years it went unopened. An auction to sell the letter has been called off because the estates of Cassady and Kerouac are fighting over the rights; Kerouac’s estate wants “an agreeable split of the proceeds.”

    Gillian Flynn was nominated for a Golden Globe for best screenplay.

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