In case you’ve not noticed (!), Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom, has hit shelves and e-readers from coast-to-coast. I’ll get around to it eventually (though it’s girth is somewhat off-putting and I shudder whenever I read the adjective “Updikean” in a review), but I’ve been unable to resist scanning the responses, which range from the gushingly laudatory (“writing in prose at once visceral and lapidary...”) by his nemesis Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times, to the approving but skeptical (and more measured tones) of Ron Charles in The Washington Post.
The Guardian continue their podcast series, The Books that Made Me, with Penelope Lively in discussion with Claire Armistead, in which she also expands on the satisfactions of short novels – a bit of a thing with me at the moment.
Mark Athatakis continues to blog in his trademark quality, relevant, ruminative style, and recently about the debate over how much editing is actually being done by authors prior to publication. As a lit-mage contributing editor, I’m more baffled by how much editing isn’t being done by writers prior to submitting work at all…
Shirley Hazzard fans can enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes of her life and craft at an exhibition currently being held at the New York Society Library celebrating both Hazzard and her husband. “Literary Lives: The World of Francis Steegmuller and Shirley Hazzard“ runs through January 31st, 2011.