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Tag: David Foster Wallace (1-7 of 7)

On The Books: Newly discovered science fiction stories by Octavia Butler


Two newly discovered stories by science fiction author Octavia Butler are being published together as an ebook called Unexpected Stories. Butler is a recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards and one of the pioneering female writers in the science fiction field. She won the the prestigious PEN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. One of the new stories, “Childminder” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price. [Open Road]

Stefanie Zweig, the author of Nowhere in Africa, a best-selling autobiography of her Jewish family escaping Nazi Germany to live in Kenya, died on Friday at 81. Zweig adapted the book into a screenplay, which was made into a German movie directed by Caroline Link. The film won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003. [New York Times]

Harper’s put together an interactive storytelling feature by Jill Sobule called “Dottie’s Charms.” When Sobule bought a charm bracelet on eBay, she was inspired to write a song for each charm. The Harper’s feature includes music written by Sobule and lyrics for each song written by a different author, some are paired with illustrations and video. [Harper’s]

Dave Eggers wrote an effusive forward to the 10th Anniversary edition of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Funny thing though, he didn’t mention his scathing review of the book in 1996. “Besides frequently losing itself in superfluous and wildly tangential flights of lexical diarrhea, the book suffers under the sheer burden of its incredible length,” Egger wrote back in the day. Yikes. [Reluctant Habits]

Here’s a rant against National Poetry Month from J.T. Barbarese, an English professor at Rutgers. He’s railing against the idea that poetry can be commodified and that this whole “month” idea was a marketing ploy by well-meaning fools. “Umberto Eco, years ago, suggested that the only way to save civilization was to abolish compulsory education. I am not sure he was just kidding,” Barbarese writes. I’m sure you’re not kidding. [Newsworks]

I’ll leave you with this Guardian headline: Scanner for ebook cannot tell its ‘arms’ from its ‘anus.’

David Foster Wallace's estate opposes biopic 'The End of the Tour'

Relatives of David Foster Wallace say they’re opposed to the upcoming film The End of the Tour, which is based on David Lipsky’s 2010 book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace.

In his book, Lipsky recounts accompanying Wallace, the author best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, on his book tour.

Production on The End of the Tour, written by Donald Margulies, directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), and starring Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky, wrapped in late March.


Flow Chart: What hipsters should read

Whether you’re a hipster, read like a hipster, or just enjoy making fun of hipsters, this flow chart by a Goodreads blogger is both instructive and hilarious. Hipsters, who are largely defined by their discerning tastes, have a lot of options here, although it’s completely accurate that any good hipster need go no further if he or she hasn’t read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (which must be one of the books people most often lie about having read). One major flaw, though, would be the omission of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, but this infographic is definitely worth moseying through nevertheless: READ FULL STORY

Center-court seats: Five books for tennis lovers

Despite the chaos and flooding over the weekend, the U.S. Open kicked off today without a hitch. Tennis is the only sport I regularly watch, mostly because it’s a fascinating, emotional sport. Angry outbursts like Serena Williams’ tirade against a lineswoman at the 2009 U.S. Open are shocking but the frustration behind them is somewhat understandable. Traditionally, tennis has a reputation for being rather stately and civilized to a fault, but it’s really a sport that can bring out a person’s competitive nature, even over a seemingly friendly rally. In movies, especially comedies, players use the sport to send an aggressive message to one another (see Bridesmaids, Mr. Deeds). In literary contexts, tennis can play a more nuanced role in exposing a character’s passive aggression or self-defeating tendencies. Tennis requires pounding a projectile at an adversary, exposing and taking advantage of an opponent’s shortcomings — but these epic battles can take place in a waspy, country club setting, complete with tennis whites. All fertile ground for below-the-surface tension. READ FULL STORY

On the Books Aug. 22: New Decemberists video's literary roots, Obama's summer reading picks


++ Parks and Recreation showrunner Michael Schur, a David Foster Wallace fan, based the “Calamity Song” video he directed for the Decemberists on Wallace’s seminal novel Infinite Jest. Let the tennis balls fly!

++ Self-published author John Locke, not to be confused with the 17th century philosopher or a Smoke Monster, has entered an exclusive deal with Simon & Schuster to handle the distribution of physical copies of his books. Locke’s Donovan Creed novels, which have sold more than a million digital copies, will be available in traditional bookstores starting February 2012. READ FULL STORY

On the Books Feb. 23: Spike Lee's new picture book, Sarah Palin's secret Facebook account, long-lost Jefferson letters, and more

spike-leeImage Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesFilmmaker Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee have written a picture book, Giant Steps to Change the World. The book centers on individuals who “made giant steps to make the world a better place/and left big shoes for you to fill.”

According to the leaked, unauthorized biography by a former Sarah Palin aide, Frank Bailey, Palin apparently has a secret Facebook account that is used to “Like” many of her daughter’s updates on the site, as well as those of Palin’s own profile. I’m sure there are way juicier revelations in the book, but I find this quite scandalous. That’s poor Facebook form.

Two researchers uncovered 69 books, some of which include handwritten notes, that belonged to Thomas Jefferson in the Washington University of St. Louis rare book collection. The search continues in the collection for even more volumes from the Founding Father. I smell a National Treasure sequel.

Book review wars between snippy authors aren’t uncommon, but apparently, writing a bad review in France can get you sued.

Book-shoppers around the country pay final respects to Borders stores before they shutter for good. Also, a roundup of commentary about Borders’ demise and what it means in the long-run.

Johnny Depp admits to being a “comic-book head” as a kid and names his favorite comic book characters.

If you guys out there think book clubs are a hobby firmly in the ladies’ domain–think Oprah, white wine, Kathryn Stockett–you’re wrong. You book-talking men may have compatriots … in the UK, at least.

David Foster Wallace's private papers acquired

David Foster Wallace’s private papers, which include drafts of his books, notes for his magnum opus Infinite Jest, letters, research, and annotated copies of novels by other famous authors, including Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy, have been purchased, the New York Times reports. Among the late author’s effects acquired by the University of Texas, Austin, is Wallace’s dictionary, which any fan of the avowed logophile and member of the SNOOT school will tell you is a pretty fascinating find.

Wallace committed suicide in 2008, but his literary presence is still felt. The author’s third and unfinished novel, The Pale King, will be released next year, and David Lipsky has written a book about his brief time with Wallace that’s due out in April. Are there any fans out there eager to see the inner workings of this brilliant writer’s mind? Does a Wallace-inspired road trip down to Austin sound like a supposedly fun thing that you’d do again and again, or does this news give you the howling fantods?

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