Michael Chabon's Tragic Magic: Reflections On Power Pop, featuring; Big Star - September Gurls: Todd Rundgren's Utopia - Couldn't I Just Tell You: The Records - Starry Eyes: Bram Tchaikovsky - Girl Of My Dreams: Baby Strange - T. Rex.
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]
"Something woke her in the night." Genre fiction is rising from the dead to terrorize serious literature! In response to Michael Chabon’s (previously) new book, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Ruth Franklin wrote a review in Slate beginning with the line “Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it.” Well, that didn’t go over too well with Ursula K. Le Guin, who bent her considerable imagination and skill to the task of envisioning the zombie corpse of genre fiction and wrote an entertaining response, which was then given a suitable cover. The whole thing is also available as a pdf linked to from Le Guin’s website. via
Writers on America is a collection of essays by various American authors on different aspects of America. It was conceived in the direct aftermath of 9/11 as a way to introduce readers to a United States that is not prominent in American pop culture. It is published by the US State Department and distributed by embassies. Michael Chabon writes about growing up in the utopian planned city of Columbia, Maryland. Bharati Mukherjee writes On Being an American Writer rather than an Indo-American one. Charles Johnson writes about a great uncle who started a milk company, and after that went belly-up in the Great Depression, founded a construction business. The other authors with essays in the volume are Elmaz Abinader, Julia Alvarez, Sven Birkerts, Robert Olen Butler, Billy Collins, Robert Creeley, David Herbert Donald, Richard Ford, Linda Hogan, Mark Jacobs, Naomi Shihab Nye and Robert Pinsky. On Voice of America Eric Felten interviewed Mark Jacobs, George Clack, executive editor of the publication and Joseph Bottum, books and arts editor of the Weekly Standard. NPR interviewed Clack and Elmaz Abinader [RealAudio] about the project and On the Media interviewed Clack by himself.
Fay Weldon, Part 2. Michael Chabon, Rick Moody, and other writers give their opinion in this Salon piece.