Anne Tyler: Unwavering Instigator of Irritation

Michiko on Joe Ezterhas: “As for the rest of this ridiculously padded, absurdly self-indulgent book, the reader can only cry: T.M.I.! Too Much Information! And: Get an editor A.S.A.P.!” What the F.U.C.K. is up with the A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S.?

A new book will explain the seven most important unsolved math problems. One of them involves working out the probability ratio for the Democrats in November.

How the hell did the Washington Times snag a review copy of the $3,000 Ali book? Did the reviewer have to fill out a loan application and submit a credit report?

The new issue of the resurrected Argosy is out. It’s the first issue since 1943, with work by Jeffrey Ford, Michael Moorcock, Ann Cummins and Benjamin Rosenbaum. Each issue will be packaged in two volumes: one the main magazine, the other a novella. The magazine is printed bimonthly and has an affordable subsciption rate. The Moorcock story is the return of metatemporal detective Sir Seaton Begg.

The Age weighs in on the legacy of long novels, but cites Tolkien and Patrick O’Brian instead of David Foster Wallace and Rising Up and Rising Down.

Bookslut has posted the standard response the Times is issuing.

Christopher Paolini: the next J.W. Rowling?

A.S. Byatt weighs in on the Grossman translation.

The Globe and Mail reports that Tyler “hasn’t a boring or irritating word in her vocabulary.” Of course. You can find the boredom and the irritation in the Caucasian malaise and the treacle.

And Radosh and Slate are looking into the reliability of that Times sex slave story.

Queen Anne, Ordinary Life and Assorted Schlepping

Lisa Allardice dares to ask a question that some people have answered, but have refrained from voicing, fearful of being labeled some rabble-rouser to be dealt a harsh blow, never again to be invited to those swank cocktail parties: Is Anne Tyler washed up? Since I value my respiratory tract (and I’ve been known to cave when wine and cheese are placed beneath my nose, but only in weak moments), I’ll only say that I’ve liked Tyler’s books in the past, but reading Ladder of Years on a whim was a very bad idea. I suspect my struggle had to do with what Tyler considered to be the ultimate revolutionary choice for a woman: running away from your husband. And this in 1996 with a rising divorce rate. I think we can all agree that this precludes Tyler from the “contemporary literature” canon.

Also in The Guardian is an amusing and forthright essay from Danny Leigh, first-time novelist of The Greatest Gift. Not only does Leigh try to wrestle with the conundrum of whether his protagonist mirrors his life, but he also confesses that, as a human being, he figures his life experience is pretty banal. But that apparently didn’t stop him from discovering things about himself that he could throw an imaginative spin on.

This article on fan fiction doesn’t nail down any conclusions, but does offer a not-bad overview of K/S and other exemplars of fan fervor. (via Graham)

Heru Ptah apparently made a killing selling his book on the subway. To the tune of $100,000 and an MTV Books deal with an advance in the mid-five figures.

Great headline with disappointing followthrough: Diet books with prose to savor? Fat chance. If only. And this fillip in the Philly. I dare a major newspaper to assess the poetic value of The Atkins Diet.