David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, etc.) has just entered a novel in the Future Library project, in which selected authors bury a manuscript in Oslo’s Nordmarka forest. No one will read these books until 2014, when the texts will, if all goes according to plan, be retrieved and printed on paper made from trees recently planted in the area. Mitchell is the second writer to participate; Margaret Atwood buried the inaugural book, Scribbler Moon, last year.
Eric Weisbard’s book Top 40 America has won the Woody Guthrie Award for Outstanding Book on Popular Music.
After spending months interviewing past and present staffers of Salon and reviewing the web magazine’s SEC filings, Politico’s Kelsey Sutton and Peter Sterne spent explain how the web-journalism pioneer lost its way.
Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman recently toured the West Bank in conjunction with Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that collects soldiers’ firsthand accounts of their experiences in the occupied territory. They are part of a larger group of writers who are visiting East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza and then writing essays about life under Israeli military rule. Chabon and Waldman will not only contribute to the anthology but also edit it. “As a Jew and someone who has felt connected both to Israel and also to the Old Testament narratives, it actually does mean something to me to be in Hebron, to be where supposedly Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Rebecca and Leah are all buried,” Chabon tells The Forward. “From my point of view, to see that place being dishonored and made less sacred and less holy by the presence of this incredibly cruel and unjust machinery, some literal machinery and figurative machinery of oppression, it offends me.”
Ben Ratliff, the author of Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Mucical Plenty, has announced that the archives of singer, songwriter, cellist, and downtown dance-music pioneer Arthur Russell have been acquired by the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts.
Andrew Solomon offers advice to writers: “Despite every advancement, language remains the defining nexus of our humanity; it is where our knowledge and hope lie. It is the precondition of human tenderness, mightier than the sword but also infinitely more subtle and ultimately more urgent. Remember that writing things down makes them real; that it is nearly impossible to hate anyone whose story you know; and, most of all, that even in our post-postmodern era, writing has a moral purpose….”