On the evening of September 25, 2014, I did something awful and tried to kill myself the next morning. I lost everything I had. Is this apparent monster worth forgiving? Or is he not so much of a monster? This 50,000 word essay is a personal reckoning with what I did, who I really am, a treatise on public shaming and how we express ourselves and the importance of getting facts right, as well as a thorough rebuttal to the many invented charges against me.
Languagehat unearths a hilarious online expose involving Sam Tanenhaus’s failure to dictate to the masses. It seems that Tanenhaus attempted to strong-arm his readership into loving the Richard Peevar and Larissa Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace and his readers, begging to differ, express their preference for other translations. Peevar then shows up, defends his […]
Pictured above is a basement in Terre Haute. It is within this damp and miserable environment that 26-year-old literary blogger Jerrold Hysteria muses about literature, often mocked and belittled by newspaper critics who cower under desks the minute that they hear the words “Tanenhaus Brownie Watch” or “LATBR Thumbnail.” Mr. Hysteria has received forty-two phone […]
The latest issue of Bookforum has hit the stands and the Artsforum gang has made most of it available online. Of particular note: Christopher Sorrentino on the new Flanagan book, this interview with A.M. Homes, and Ben Marcus on Lydia Davis. What is not particularly good is that out of 35 reviews, only fourteen are […]
“I find they write about us, but I don’t find they write about authors and have that many interesting things to say about literature. Maybe I’m missing them? It seems to be more of a kind of a scorecard they keep about us and I think, well, let’s say they don’t like us and we’re […]
Michael Blowhard observes that the NYTBR is a failure on the popular fiction front as well: “To use an analogy: imagine a movie magazine. It doesn’t announce itself as avant-garde, or as niche in any way. It’s just The New York Review of Movies. It purports, in other words, to be covering movies. You’d expect […]
Lee Kottner writes a letter to Tanenhaus about the NYTBR‘s well-documented lack of women nonfiction coverage and receives a response. Tanenhaus claims, “The truth, at least as far as we can tell, is that there remain areas in which women authors tend to be less well (that is, less numerously) represented than men: science, philosophy, […]
Sure, you could ask Sam Tanenhaus your questions and watch him ignore any query even remotely critical of the NYTBR. (Tanenhaus, incidentally, has refused mutlple interview requests to appear on The Bat Segundo Show to clarify some of the charges that have appeared on these pages.) But why do that when a former box office […]
Long-time readers of this site know that we’ve often held Sam Tanenhaus’s feet to the fire. But with Rachel Donadio’s latest essay, it’s occurred to us that Donadio, perhaps working independently of Tanenhaus, may be one of the major problems with the NYTBR. While we applaud Dwight Garner’s “Inside the List” columns, welcome David Orr’s […]
Dear Mr. Tanenhaus: Nearly every serious literary person knows that your finger ain’t exactly on the pulse of contemporary fiction. Your coverage, even when it does concern itself with literature, often misses the mark. (This week’s issue, however, isn’t bad. But still, NO BROWINES FOR YOU! Just because I’m under no obligation to resuscitate the […]
While I have given up the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch, did you know that Sam Tanenhaus is in the podcasting business? Every Friday, NYTBR editor Sam Tanenhaus releases a new installment through the New York Times website. And while you can’t access the podcast without iTunes and there doesn’t appear to be an archive of Tanenhaus’s […]
While the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch may be discontinued, Levi Asher has picked up the slack with his “Reviewing the Review” blog posts. This week, Mr. Asher made the claim that “The Book Review continues to prove that it has no capability at all to review poetry.” While I can certainly agree that its poetry coverage […]
PANEL: The Best American Fiction Since 1980 Moderator: Sam Tanenhaus, Editor, The New York Times Book Review Panelists: Greg Cowles (The New York Times Book Review), Thomas Mallon, Cynthia Ozick, Liesl Schillinger At last year’s BEA, I didn’t get an opportunity to talk with Sam Tanenhaus about his continued failure to provide coverage on today’s […]
More BEA reports to follow, including Chris Anderson’s speech presaging his forthcoming The Long Tail book and the Sam Tanenhaus panel, in which your correspondent questioned Tanenhaus about his male-centric offerings in a playful way, watched Tanenhaus take it personally and was answered with a very public damnation of the brownies that we had sent […]
A list of the judges behind the “best book of the last 25 years.” Total Number of Judges: 125 Total Number of Women Judges: 37 (29%) No brownie for you, Tanenhaus!
Some people have emailed me about the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch, wondering if, in the absence of lengthy posts, I think there’s been any improvement. The following graphic should answer any and all questions.
It reappeared, as if from a silly dream. Or perhaps in Mr. Tanenhaus’s case, an honest nightmare he thought was over. WEEKLY QUESTION: Will this week’s NYTBR reflect today’s literary and publishing climatet? Or will editor Sam Tanenhaus demonstrate yet again that the NYTBR is irrelevant to today’s needs? If the former, a tasty brownie […]
Finish the Naughty Reading Contest. Three Segundo podcasts. Reinstate the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch. Get Secret Project #24B started. At least six installments of The Neurotic Chronicles. I have not forgotten about this stuff, but I wanted to address these failings publicly for all who have asked. Also, this gives you a great opportunity to publicly […]
The Tanenhaus Brownie Watch will return again soon, but in the meantime, Litkicks is on the case.
While the Brownie Watch may be on hiatus (I expect to revive it in December), I decided to analyze the ads in relation to the content. Here then is a rundown of the ads in the November 13, 2005 NYTBR issue: PAGE 2: Full-page ad — HaperCollins. PAGE 3: Half-page ad — Miramax Books. PAGE […]
To the Editor of Return of the Reluctant: I can remember the day when Marla told me, “Hey buddy, toupee or no toupee, it’s the size of your wallet that counts. No matter how ugly you get, I’ll still happily jump your bone.” Five minutes after she said this, I was on the phone with […]
It’s been a while since we awarded anyone the Chickenhead of the Month. We like to reserve this special prize for a person making truly astounding leaps in logic. Lo and behold! While we may be on hiatus from the Brownie Watch, we opened the NYTBR‘s pages yesterday and found a fantastic dollop of silliness […]
Finally, one of our esteemed colleagues had the balls to point out the obvious. All this time, while we organized groups to discuss neglected authors, delved into the world of podcasting, and had the temerity to redesign this site so that it was easier on the eye, our purpose all along was to start reading […]
As others have pointed out, the NYTBR is once again an embarassment. It’s the same old song. Richard Posner’s essay is not so much a book review but an excuse to whine about the blogosphere. The writers remain, for the most part, male, offering dull and uninteresting coverage for dull and uninteresting books. The insufferable […]
I had hoped to get to the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch this week. But I appear to be, once again, time-challenged. But congratulations to Maud for scoring a review. Posting will be light over the next day, as I work on a few things on multiple fronts. Including this front. In fact, it suddenly occurs to […]
WEEKLY QUESTION: Will this week’s NYTBR reflect today’s literary and publishing climate? Or will editor Sam Tanenhaus demonstrate yet again that the NYTBR is irrelevant to today’s needs? If the former, a tasty brownie will be sent to Mr. Tanenhaus’ office. If the latter, the brownie will be denied. THE COLUMN-INCH TEST: Fiction and Poetry […]
It appears that the J in M.J. Rose’s name stands for “Julavits.” Without naming names or citing any specific examples (or, for that matter, actually invoking an argument for why any of it is bad), M.J. Rose offers us yet another piece of flummery complaining about what she identifies as “whining” (and what the rest […]
I’ve let the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch updates slip for the past month. However, I’d like to ensure RotR readers that this Sunday, the weekly test will return, including the seminal male to female book reviewer test. In the meantime, the prolific Lauren Baratz-Logsted offers a guest essay over at Booksquare about bias against female reviewers. […]
Okay, I fully confess (the dropoff in stats and Blogllines subscribers doesn’t lie!) that I’ve been biting the big one lately and that my posts these days leave much to be desired. (Hell, I can’t even find time for the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch.) There are reasons for this — namely, other projects and things that […]
I’ll have more to say about this nonsense when I get to the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch, but Sarah and Carrie have some interesting thoughts on the chicklit problem.