April 15, 2014

Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt

The Guardian US and the Washington Post both collected Public Service Pulitzers for stories related to Edward Snowden’s leaks. Snowden has publicly declared the award a “vindication” of his actions and the larger inquiry into “domestic surveillance practices”; the Prize board, meanwhile, nervously insists that their granting of the award is about recognizing good journalism and shouldn’t be understood as an endorsement of Snowden. The fiction award went to Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch.

Dave Eggers has a new novel coming out in June, a mere eight months after his last, The Circle, which was published in October. The elaborately titled Your Fathers, Where Are They? and the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? describes the interrogation, on an abandoned military base, of a NASA astronaut by a man who wants to understand “their mysterious connection.”

At the New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog, James Salter remembers the novelist Peter Matthiessen, who died of leukemia on April 5. Salter and Matthiessen were close, as were their families: “When you celebrate Christmases together and everyone’s birthdays and other events through the years, a dense and indestructible fabric is made, really too rich to imitate or describe.” Salter and Matthiessen traveled to France together, to St. Petersburg, to Italy. They drank together, “sometimes quite a bit.” They had a tradition of swimming in the ocean on the first day of November, then returning to an “icy martini” with their wives on the beach. All this, and then: “We got old.”

Random House is coming out with a new collection of previously uncollected works by Shirley Jackson. Garlic in Fiction will include the short story “Paranoia,” which appeared for the first time in the New Yorker last year, as well as nonfiction that Jackson originally published in women’s magazines in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Jonathan Lethem writes about his work on the unfinished Don Carpenter novel Fridays at Enrico’s: “Of course there were twisty little ironies attendant in rewriting a manuscript that concerned not only writers writing manuscripts, but writers being rewritten by editors, and feeling bitterly betrayed by the results.”