Prufrock's Page

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fashionable Classics

In an age of John Grisham and Dan Brown, how do you make readers pick up the classics again? Get people like Manolo Blahnik and Paul Smith to design their covers.

Oh No, Not Another One

Alexandra Adornetto has just signed a two-book deal with Harper Collins. Her age? 14.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Thing From The Library

Just stumbled upon Library Thing, a social networking site that's focused on books and, according to the Christian Science Monitor, "appears poised to turn the cataloging of books into a form of communal recreation." More later, once one signs in and explores further.

Philip Roth And Bruce Jay Friedman

An instructive comparison.

A Plea To The US Immigration Authorities

Yiyun Li, who's just been presented with the Whiting Award, was turned down last year for permanent residency by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and rejected again upon appeal. She'd applied based on "exceptional ability" in the arts, and has now filed a new petition. Let's hope this one passes muster.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Glamour? What Glamour?

"People have this mystifying idea that it's glamorous to be a writer," Francine Prose is quoted as saying in this piece. In the very same paragraph, we learn that the interview was conducted over sushi at a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan; that she was dressed all in black; that she returned from an appearance at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., a few hours ago; and that she has a class to teach at the New School a few hours hence. Hey, one will take that over glamour any day.

Whining And Dining

Jay McInerney's new book is about wine. And in this piece, he says that the best bottle he ever had "tasted like summer". How original.

The Worth Of Prizes

"You do become resentful when you are working, as I did for 12 years, without being noticed. It was becoming increasingly difficult to get my work into print. There is such a difference between having won one prize and none. You've got the cultural imprimatur. You feel anointed. But you shouldn't trust this thing. My agent keeps encouraging me to consolidate my gains by going on reading tours and so on. I guess it's all about building and keeping an audience. You keep doing it for now because, as a former nobody, you fear that your coach will turn into a pumpkin. I do feel lucky. And I do have a sense of a parallel future which could have been so different if I hadn't won the Orange. But if you ask me if I'd prefer to have had early success or what happened to me, I'd choose my story; I like my story. I like mine a lot."

- Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin

Kolatkar's Way

"When I reread Jejuri now, I realise how important the modern metropolis before globalisation - with its secret openings and avenues, its pockets of daydreaming, idling, and loitering, its loucheness - is fundamental to Kolatkar as a way of seeing."

- From a wonderful little essay by Amit Chaudhuri on Arun Kolatkar's seminal Jejuri