Round and Round She Goes! Where She Stops…

  • Robert “Hue-Happy Background” Birnbaum talks with crime fiction writer Richard Marnick. Marnick, as reported during our BEA coverage, has led an extraordinary life as an ex-cop, ex-con, and a union writer tunnel. And Marnick gives Birnbaum the goods on Boyos and more.
  • Pope John Paul II approved of Harry Potter, but Ratzinger doesn’t. Pope Benedict XVI has also gone on record to state that ice cream cones and roller coasters are the work of the devil.
  • I must say that this headline is wrong. It should read “Coffee shop offers no chance or tablespace for writers.”
  • The SF Weekly offers a brief blurb for Michelle Tea, who would probably make a better modifier over the Warfield than the SF Weekly.
  • Introducing BritLitBlogs, a consortium of six British literary blogs.
  • If you thought the Patriot Act library and bookstore records battle was over, think again. Librarians are concerned with the Bush administration’s determination to make reinstating Section 215 a top priority this year.
  • Mike West really doesn’t like Spin.
  • Tayari Jones on going to Bible school while atheist. (via Maud)
  • Rake has the goods on Cormac McCarthy from this month’s Vanity Fair.
  • History textbooks aren’t just being diluted in American schools. Otawara, Japan has approved a book downplaying the Rape of Nanking, completely overlooking the sexual ensalvement of women.
  • Back in the 1960s, San Quentin was one of the few prisons that attempted “bibliotherapy.” Because of this, prisoners became literate and several of them became writers. (And in fact, Eldridge Cleaver wrote and sold Soul on Ice while in San Quentin.) So it’s very good to see that new reading programs are being tried out at various Bay Area prisons. (And for a related story, check out Mark Sarvas’ account of teaching writing to at-risk juvenile offenders.)
  • Terry McMillan’s latest homophobia: “He’s the one who is gay.” I didn’t realize that one’s sexual orientation mattered as much as one’s actions do in a messy divorce. So am I to conclude that not being gay means you’re not “a habitual liar” or “a sociopath”?
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