The New York Times magazine has published an excerpt from Dave Eggers' new book The Circle. It features a protagonist who has just begun work at one of the world's foremost tech companies, and things quickly turn slightly sinister. [more inside]
In her essay, The Naked and the Conflicted, Katie Roiphe compares the directly sexual writing of Roth, Mailer, and Updike with the more timid approach adopted by America's new batch of male novelists. "We denounce the Great Male Novelists of the last century for their sexism. But something has been lost now that innocence is more fashionable than virility, the cuddle preferable to sex." [SLNYT]
Thanksgiving at Dan and Jane's by Dave Eggers. [Lech, 6, under the table, pretends to be dead, in a coffin raised over the heads of hysterical mourners.]
Speaking of speeches, David Eggers delivers one at TED on grassroots community tutoring for kids who need help with their English homework: "There's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one on one, getting all this attention. They finish their homework, they go home -- they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home 5:30, enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play and that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world, right? So, the key to it all is homework." Love him or hate him (mefi consensus) it's a great example of
nervous energy microphilanthropy, social entrepreneurship and, if I may make the connection, machines of loving grace. [previously]
'These are a few of my least favorite things.' Melvin Jules Bukiet shares his thoughts on some contemporary writers, some of whom call the borough of Brooklyn home. Writers with names like Foer, Sebold and Eggers, among others. His thoughts are mostly negative. [via]
McSweeney's is holding a big sale and auction to make up for $130,000 lost in a distributor bankruptcy. Soon we'll be adding one-of-a-kind pieces from Michael Chabon, Sarah Vowell, and Marcel Dzama—and every single thing we've got is on sale, cheap.
Creativity, Inc: Dave Eggers of McSweeney's is a proprietor. A shopkeeper. Perhaps even a franchise magnate! It was his keen perception of unmet needs in niche markets that led to the opening of a growing array of supply houses across the country. Among them: The Pirate Store, for the well-outfitted swashbuckler; The Boring Store, a subtle, unassuming purveyor of goods for secret agents; the Superhero Supply Store, in Brooklyn, carrying all the eyewear and accessories today's world-savers require; and Greenwood Space Travel Supply, where customers are reminded of the space-travel axiom "A lack of preparation is a prescription for mishaps." If these sound like curious business ventures for a celebrated author, there's a reason: the storefronts, though real, are just that - fronts. They're the streetside faces (and fundraising arms) of the nonprofit 826National, a family of learning centers for kids ages 6-18. The 826 'stores' provide free field trips, creatively themed writing workshops, publishing, and one-on-one instruction. Supported by an impressive field of cultural types (including Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell, Sherman Alexie, and others), the program is growing. Coming soon: Michigan 826 will open Monster Union Local 826, and 826LA will open the Echo Park Time Travel Mart.
'American sports are played with the hands. Using your feet is for commies' "It's inevitable, given the way the US teams are improving every year, that eventually we will make it to the semi-final of a World Cup, and it's likely, one would think, that the United States will win it all in the near future."
You Shall Know Our Velocity, but you shall not buy it from Amazon or other large booksellers. The new novel by Dave Eggers is out. The reviews have come in quite positively (Time, Newsweek, NYT, SF Chronicle, among others). The main topic of discussion, though, is not the quality of the book, but the ego/stance/plan of Dave Eggers to not publish and sell it more widely (only 10,000 copies on first run). Will Dave Eggers succeed at NOT being a major commercial success, or will it happen despite his best efforts?
Eggers On Criticism and 'Keeping It Real'. Really interesting and well-written, of course. But also, sometimes, infuriating. More inside. (via kottke)
Anyone who doubted that the mcsweeneys.com/mcsweeneys.net merger was a hoax might want to take a look at the new McSweeney's Internet Tendency home page. Somehow I don't think this is a permanent change.