September 19, 2013

The National Book Foundation has released their longlist for National Book Award in Nonfiction. The nominees are T.D. Allman’s Finding Florida, Gretel Ehrlich’s Face the Wave, Scott C. Johnson’s The Wolf and the Watchman, Jill Lepore’s Book of Ages, Wendy Lower’s Hitler’s Furies, James Oakes’s Freedom National, George Packer’s The Unwinding, Alan Taylor’s The Internal Enemy, Terry Teachout’s Duke, and Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear. The finalists will be announced on Oct. 16, and the winner will be named on Nov. 20.

At Vice, Marilynne Robinson talks with former student Thessaly La Force about her writing, religion, and her ideal day: “It’s generally when I have no demands being made of me—of any kind. And then I can sit on my couch and worry over a paragraph until lunch. And then sit back down on the couch and worry about the paragraph until supper. Sometimes I like to work in my very neglected garden. In any case, that’s basically it.”

Random House announced this week that to get younger readers interested in Norman Mailer, the

Marshall Berman

Marshall Berman

publisher will re-release eight of his books in digital form, as well as repackaging his paperbacks and publishing an entirely new Mailer essay collection.

A fun new online game asks players to distinguish between “real Franzen gripes about technology” and “randomly chosen YouTube comments condemning saggy pants.” It’s harder than you think.

At n+1, former Dissent editor David Marcus writes a lovely remembrance to Marshall Berman, the radical social critic who passed away last week.

In the New York Times’s new Bookends column, Pankaj Mishra and Jennifer Szalai deal with the question of how well contemporary fiction addresses radical politics. And meanwhile, at the Baffler, Rhian Sasseen criticizes Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens for offering “nothing particularly revolutionary in its story about a family peopled by revolutionaries.”

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