• The Rake contemplates the Franzen factor in relation to Cormac McCarthy’s upcoming appearance on Oprah.
  • Deborah Moggach: “I went to meet Spielberg and he’s very casual, all latte-drinking, Navaho rugs and adobe walls. But it’s still a studio and he’s still the boss and all the people who work for him are desperate not to say the wrong thing and lose their job, so they agree with everything he says. He referred to the Danish all the way through the meeting – the book is about the Dutch but nobody corrected him. He said, ‘I think it’s a comedy about poverty’, which it isn’t but everyone just agreed.” I’m not certain what Moggach was expecting. This is, after all, a man responsible for the film adaptations of not one, but two Michael Crichton books. This is also a man who lacked the cojones to follow through with the lesbian relationship between Shug and Celie in his version of The Color Purple. To claim Spielberg as any serious friend of the literary or a careful reader is to likewise suggest that any garden-variety house painter was capable of painting a Diego Rivera mural. Spielberg is a skilled cinematic manipulator who knows how to find good scripts and knows how to make money. I do not necessarily think this is a bad thing. But he is decidedly not a literary man.
  • Doris Lessing has said that women are as violent than men, suggesting that some of the worst crimes in history have been committed by women. Personally, I think that some of the worst crimes in history have been committed by monsters and the gender as a whole doesn’t matter. But that’s just me.
  • Roxana Robinson appears baffled that cab drivers from Bangladesh would be interested in literature. I’m mystified that such borderline racism (“I wasn’t sure there would be any writers from Bangladesh”) would be permitted in a 21st century newspaper.
  • Why am I concerned about such cultural depictions? This article should explain why. The proposed immigration bill will dramatically effect New York’s feel and character.
  • This month, Reading the World begins in earnest for the third time. There is, as I mentioned yesterday, much on this subject over at Scott’s, perhaps with additional assists, coverage-wise, by Joshua Glenn in the future.
  • Dan Quayle, book reviewer. (via Amy’s Robot)


  1. Why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that Oprah has now selected Middlesex to be her Summer Reading book? Are we that work at Corporate Bookstores the only ones who know this?

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