The Guardian has an excerpt of Carol Shield’s unfinished novel, Segue, which she was working on at the time of her death.
Terry Gross interviews Stephen King. Hearing Terry Gross describe the beginning of Gerald’s Game in such clinical intellectual terms (apparently, without irony) is pretty hilarious, as are the additional queries that jump from third-person to first-person (“Let’s get Stephen King to the kind of gore and terror and suspense that you create.”). But the second interview has King talking about his accident.
The Globe and Mail features a New Year’s-themed article on the description of drinking in literature that’s also unintentioanlly funny. Really, I couldn’t make this stuff up: “You can, with a little licence, trace an arc in 20th-century drinking literature that follows the act of drinking itself. In Hemingway’s work, the drinking was never-ending, and often celebratory when it wasn’t the weary duty of the lost generation. Hangovers were left largely undescribed, something that could be walked off in the clear air of the Pyrenees, or washed off in a fine and true Michigan trout stream.”
More fun from J.M. Coetzee in the latest NYRoB.
Speculation in the Age on 2004’s Australian heavy-hitters.
Tony Kushner gushes over Eugene O’Neill.
Biggest surprise: USA Today names both Living History and The Five People You Meet in Heaven as worst books of 2003.
Stavros has a translation of the Lost in Translation commercial scene that reveals (no surprise) remarkable caricatures.
And about 70 books on Mao were published in China this year. Perhaps because the 110th anniversary of Mao’s birth was yesterday.