October 30, 2012


A picture of Picasso,
clipped from a newspaper,
danced on a bulletin board
to a smell of mildew
that was nearly audible.

— "Property" by Elizabeth McCracken (from "Best American Short Stories 2011")

October 21, 2012

Dear John

John had to believe 
in God because 
he knew the devil. 

— Alan Gurganus, writing about the 100th birthday of John Cheever, who was a mentor and friend. Source: The New York Review of Books

October 20, 2012

The horror

The insertion of found footage
into horror flicks is now
so common as to be
almost compulsory,

like the use of vomiting
in mainstream comedies.

What a golden age
we inhabit.

— Anthony Lane's review of "Sinister" (New Yorker, Oct. 15, 2012)

October 19, 2012


Last night dreamed
of two demons
having sex

and found out

it was only
two cats fighting
outside window.

— George Saunders, "The Semplica-Girl Diaries" short story in The New Yorker Oct. 15, 2012, issue

October 17, 2012

No Hard Feelings

It must be
the dumbest thing
he's ever said.

No hard feelings?

What could ever be
harder than feelings?

 — Sam Lipsyte, "The Dungeon Master" (from "Best American Short Stories 2011")

October 13, 2012

Cool-looking authors No. 43

A.M. Homes, author of the novel "May We Be Forgiven"

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

October 12, 2012

Cool-looking authors No. 42

Fran Lebowitz, known for her sardonic social commentary

Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

October 11, 2012


comic books
teach us

that you
will meet
your exact

at least
once a week!

— Brian Cronin, from his book "Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent?"

October 9, 2012

Cool-looking authors No. 41

Zadie Smith, author of "White Teeth," "The Autograph Man," "On Beauty" and "NW"

Photo by Eamonn McCabe

October 7, 2012


The Greeks 
had Oedipus.
We have TMZ
and the celebration
of petty misfortune.

We've democratized
tragedy, which isn't 
necessarily a bad thing.

— Arts and Letters Daily tease to a New Statesman story about  "Tragedy's decline and fall" 

October 6, 2012

Cool-looking authors No. 40

Junot Diaz, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" and the short story collection "This Is How You Lose Her."  The MIT professor is among the latest recipients of the MacArthur genius grants.

Photo by Joey L.