February 4, 2014

JK Rowling claims in an interview that it was a mistake to pair off Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Hermione, Rowling claims, should have wound up in love with Harry Potter. “Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this?” she asks. Maybe not, but some fans are apparently “outraged”: “”Well thanks Jo for kicking down 10 years of what I consider to be the most beautiful, unconditional & bare bones real relationship that could ever exist between 2 people,” writes one Harry Potter fan on the Leaky Cauldron site.

The NYPL invited author and translator Susan Bernofsky and others associated with the PEN American Center to tour the stacks at the 42nd Street Library. Library officials hoped to convince the visitors that plans to demolish the stacks is “necessary and a contribution to service and scholarship,” but according to Bernofsky, “what I saw convinced me of the opposite.”

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith talks about her story “Moonlit Landscape with Bridge,” which appears in this week’s New Yorker. The story takes place in an unnamed country in the aftermath of a terrible storm, focusing on the Minister of the Interior as he flees. Smith says of her protagonist: “The Minister is a character I’ve been thinking about for a while. Discreet, efficient, ruthless. You can spot him between the lines of a lot of different news stories.”

The Believer has posted a 2004 interview with Philip Seymour Hoffman, in which he mentions some favorite authors (Richard Yates, Richard Ford), and discusses the George Saunders’s story “Sea Oak” in depth.

Orhan Pamuk gives a tour of Istanbul.

Tonight at McNally Jackson bookstore in New York, Jesse Ball will discuss his artfully whimsical new novel, Silence Once Begun.