• If you thought that Matthew Sharpe’s take on Jamestown was the first, Garth Hallberg reveals the history of Jamestown in contemporary fiction, citing not only one of my favorite contemporary authors, but The Sot-Weed Factor, one of my favorite novels of the past fifty years.
  • The San Antonio Express-News interviews Jodi Picoult, only the third woman to have written for Wonder Woman. And if that little tidbit isn’t enough to disturb you, consider Wonder Woman’s origins: William Marston, one of the men who innovated on the polygraph, created the character with his wife. Of course, Marston’s ideas of female empowerment involved Wonder Woman tying her villains with her magic lasso and forcing them to tell the truth. There was an interesting book put out on Wonder Woman’s origins seven years ago.
  • Another Banville interview is available at the Oregonian.
  • A forthcoming PBS documentary series will examine the American novel. Thankfully, Ken Burns isn’t involved. I’ll never forgive Burns for making Mark Twain’s fascinating life into such a bore a few years ago. (via Orthofer)
  • Finally, the Hugo Awards represent women. (via Gwenda)
  • Authors, take note of this anecdote: Margaret Atwood really loves you. Who knew?
  • How to write a bestseller. (via Bill Peschel)
  • The Slate Audio Book Club returns. I haven’t listened to it yet and will only do if I feel compelled to become sad about what passes for populist thinking. But it’s a sunny day here in San Francisco and I’m in a pleasant mood. So I’ll defer such criticisms to my colleagues. It appears that Meghan O’Rourke has had enough. She’s been replaced by John Burnham Schwartz. I’m wondering if this is because O’Rourke, the only one of the pre-Schwartz trio to have any brains, finally came to her senses, demanding an amazing amount of money if she had to endure more of Stephen Metcalf and Katie Roiphe’s banal observations. If this is the case, I don’t blame her. You’d have to ply me with enough scotch to fuel a Jeep Cherokee gas tank (perhaps the same amount that was forcibly poured down Cary Grant’s throat in North by Northwest before James Mason and Martin Landau put him behind the wheel) to get me to talk books on this atavistic level. Perhaps O’Rourke will return in a Slate Audio Book Club (Higher Thinking Edition), which would be a more constructive use of Slate’s resources. In the meantime, listen to the rabble, if you dare.
  • Does your English cut the mustard? My own results: Grammar: 100%, Vocabulary: 100%, Punctuation: 80%, Spelling: 100%. But then I have strange ideas about commas. (via Books, Words & Writing)
  • The effect of viral video on publishing. (via Kassia)
  • Apparently, a few Brits didn’t get the memo that you are not supposed to award John Grisham anything.
  • Harry Turtledove fans, take note! The first chapters of an alternate history, co-authored by Turtledove and Bryce Zabel, in which JFK had lived have been posted. (via Lee Goldberg)
  • If reading is dying, why are so many Canadians reading? Those ungodly liberal heathens above the 49th parallel are destroying our comfortable illiterate American way of life! They must be stopped at all costs! (via Bookninja)
  • Oprah, Rooster; Rooster, Oprah.

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