Recent News Digests

25–29 July 2005

18–22 July 2005

11–15 July 2005

4–8 July 2005

27 June – 1 July 2005

20–24 June 2005

13–17 June 2005

6–10 June 2005

30 May – 3 June 2005

23–27 May 2005

16–20 May 2005

9–13 May 2005

2–6 May 2005

25–29 April 2005

18–22 April 2005

4–15 April 2005

28 March – 1 April 2005

21–25 March 2005

28 March –1 April 2005

14–18 March 2005

7–11 March 2005

28 February –4 March 2005

21–25 February 2005

14–18 February 2005

7–11 February 2005

31 January–4 February 2005

24–28 January 2005

17–21 January 2005

10–14 January 2005

3–7 January 2005

20 December 2004 – 2 January 2005

13–17 December 2004

6–10 December 2004

29 November–3 December 2004

22–26 November 2004

15–19 November 2004

8–12 November 2004

1–5 November 2004

25–29 October 2004

18–22 October 2004

11–15 October 2004

NOTE: Daily newspapers often change URLs when archiving, so some links won't work beyond the day they're first posted.


1 October, 2004–15 May 2005

1 November, 2003–1 January 2004

1 September, 2003–30 October 2003


ALL THE REVIEWS THAT FIT . . . How often does the New York Times review books by its own staffers — and how many of those reviews are raves?

THE TALK OF THE REST OF THE TOWN . . . The year–long survey that started with a tip from a high–ranking executive at one of the very biggest publishers in New York: Did you ever notice how many of The New Yorker magazine's writers are men?


11 November 2005
DEAREST IRAQ . . . On his birthday, Kurt Vonnegut shares a never–before published letter he wrote, in the guise of Uncle Sam, to the people of Iraq.

7 November 2005
A GOOD STORY IS HARD TO FIND . . . Guest columnist Paul Maliszewski talks to journalist Michael Finkel about getting fired from the New York Times for using a composite character, and the bizarre aftermath when he tried to regain his career.

22 August 2005
THE FREELANCER . . Making a living out of free–lance writing—i.e., writing at home in your pajamas—is great . . . except for when it's not, says guest columnist Chris Rodell.

8 August 2005
THE VARIETIES OF WRITERLY DISSIDENCE . . Guest columnist Wayne Miller says criticisms of Ismail Kadare's claims to dissidence arent' exactly wrong. They aren't exactly right, either. . .

1 August 2005
AT THE FAMOUS WRITERS' CONFERENCE . . In a guest column, Marie Myung–Ok Lee describes being feted as an ethnic writer at a famous writers conference — when she isn't that ethnicity after all.

25 July 2005
WHY ROBBER BARONS SELF–PUBLISH . . In a guest column, historian Edward J. Renehan, Jr. discusses why one of American history's leading financiers, Jay Gould, advised smart people to stay out of the publishing business.

18 July 2005
KADARE IS NO SOLZHENITSYN . . The winner of the first Booker International Prize trashed "untrue" dissident writers for keeping silent. Guest columnist Renata Dumitrascu asks if he was really part of their suppression.

11 July 2005
GOOGLIZATION AND YOU . . Librarian Christopher Allen Waldrop says in a guest column that Google Print does more than break copyright laws — it opens the records of patrons up to more widespread scrutiny than the PATRIOT Act.

4 July 2005
BOOKSELLER AT LARGE . . . Guest commentator Dan Bloom says he moved to Taiwan and wrote a book that sold thousands of copies — after he took to the streets yelling, "Buy my book!"

27 June 2005
ENOUGH ALREADY WITH THE MFA BASHING . . . Regular contributor Steve Almond, an MFA grad who also teaches creative writing, responds to last week's column about the influence of MFA programs.

20 June 2005
DOWN WITH MFAs . . . In a guest column, MFA dropout and publisher Elizabeth Clementson say MFA programs are ruining literature and the publishing buisness.

13 June 2005
TELEVISION WITHOUT PITY . . . Tired of the short story writer's life, guest columnist Steve Almond explains why he's now writing television shows such as "Blog and Order."

30 May 2005
READING TO CHAIRS . . . When Quinn Dalton showed up at a bookstore to read from her new book, she was greeted by . . . empty chairs. In a guest column, she asks herself, "Why bother?"

23 May 2005
THE KILLER POET . . . When a big haired poet asks the literary gumshoe to whack a librarian, he feels the weight of the whole world of poetry on his shoulder. Will he do the right thing?

16 May 2005
WHERE THE NOVEL'S HEADED . . . Jonathan Safran Foer's new book has a lot of people talking about post–modernism and the novel. But David Barringer thinks the novel is going in another direction — inside.

2 May 2005
BOOKS IN GROCERY STORES: A TESTIMONIAL . . . After his mainstream publisher didn't want his second novel, Larry Baker got an idea about how to sell his second book himself when a flash of inspiration came to him in the local grocery store.

25 April 2005
ANATOMY OF A HOAX . . . When Paul Maliszewski heard Michael Chabon tell a false story about a real writer, he wrote about it. So what led the New York Times to cover Chabon's hoax with an attack on Maliszewski featuring testimony from Dave Eggers?

18 April 2005
EXTREMELY MELODRAMATIC AND INCREDIBLY SAD . . . Steve Almond explains in a guest column that he really wanted to like Jonathan Safran Foer's new book, but something about his use of 9/11 eventually got to him. And is it the beginning of a trend?

28 March 2005
FOETRY SPEAKS! . . . By revealing that the winners of some prominent literary contests had ties to the judges, has made some bitter enemies. Why do it? The anonymous editor explains in a guest column.

22 March 2005
WHY I WRITE SHORT STORIES . . . It's getting as difficult to sell stories as it is to sell poetry or first novels. Why do it? With his newest collection about to come out, Steve Almond offers some reasons.

14 March 2005
THE DEATH OF FIRST FICTION . . . In a guest column, Ig Publishing's Robert Lasner describes the growing difficulty in publishing and promoting debut novels — and the growing need to keep publishing them.

14 February 2005
HOW I MANAGED TO GALVANIZE THE RIGHT–WING HATE MACHINE WITHOUT REALLY TRYING . . . In a guest column, Steve Almond tells what happens when you write a simple little book about your love for candy and you give maybe just the slightest little mention of your politics . . . .

10 January 2005
GOOGLING LIBRARIES . . . Is there anything wrong with Google making the works of our greatest libraires available online? Well, yes, says librarian, and MobyLives guest columnist, Christopher Waldrop.

15 December 2004
BLUE CHRISTMAS ... Booksellers are reputed to be stallwart lefties, but guess who "the world's biggest bookseller" is giving its corporate donations to.

22 November 2004
IT IS WHAT IT IS: KID LIT ... Guest columnist Jackie Corley talks about her experience of the strange pressure put on young writers today to write like old–timers.

18 November 2004
THE FICTION OF THE DEMISE OF THE WOMEN'S REVIEW OF BOOKS ... What's the significance of the demise of The Women's Review of Books? Former editor Lynn Walterick talks about it in a MobyLives guest column.

15 November 2004
MOODY IN SOLITUDE ... What happens when you ask Rick Moody to judge a fiction award contest? Our intrepid reporter goes down river to find out.

2 November 2004
HOW TO MAKE THE BESTSELLER LIST ... AND WIN ELECTIONS . . . In a guest column, Chelsea Green publisher Margo Baldwin writes about what happened when one of her political books made the New York Times Bestseller list—in the obviously wrong category.

1 November 2004
BOOKS V. BUSH ... What did the book business have to say about presidential politics? Plenty.

25 October 2004
GRAHAM GREENE IN THE AGE OF BUSH ... In the midst of a presidential race, a MobyLIves guest column by Eric Weinberger asks which of the candidates is likely to have read The Ugly American—and to understand its pertinence?

18 October 2004
THE OTHER FACE OF TARIQ RAMADAN ... When the State Department denied Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan US entry, he became a cause celebre. But as Bernard–Henri Lévy points out in a powerful guest column, Europeans have long seen another side to Ramadan, and it's not very attractive.

9 December 2003
WHY DOESN'T GEN Y HAVE A LITERARY SPOKESPERSON? ... Novelist Caren Lissner, in a guest column, wonders why writers in their late teens and early twenties don't have a spokesperson yet, and she talks to some likely candidates.

1 December 2003
IG RHYMES WITH BIG, BUT IT'S DIFFERENT ... Independent—or is it "small"?—press publisher Robert Lasner talks about the highs and lows of going up against the big boys.

18 November 2003
HOW EWA BECAME EWA ... The proprietor of one of the most popular and idiosyncratic literary websites, Everyone Who's Anyone in Trade Publsihing, files a guest column with MobyLIves about how the site came to be.

10 November 2003
SAINT GEORGE AND THE DAMN TRUTH ... A list of suspected Communists kept by George Orwell goes on public display for the first time, inspiring John Reed to ask if it isn't time for a closer look at the great writer.

30 October 2003
PECKED TO DEATH ... After reading a favorable New York Times profile of attack critic Dale Peck, MobyLives contributor Steve Almond finds himself in—well, attack mode....

6 October 2003
THE CULT OF THE ETHNIC AUTHOR ... In a guest column, Laila Lalami says that at a Q & A after a Monica Ali reading, she got to see in a nutshell all the frightening assumptions made about ethnic writers.

29 September 2003
THE BLOOM IS OFF THE MARK ... Harold Bloom's remarks against the notion of giving a literary prize to Stephen King inspires frequent MobyLives contributor Steve Almond to ask if Bloom really knows the scene.

8 Septmeber 2003
A FEW WORDS ABOUT BLURBS ... Popular short story author Steve Almond offers his list of pet peeves about blurbists and the art of blurbing.

15 July 2003
THE COSTS OF COSTCO ... Boston–area independent bookseller Tim Huggins discusses the effects giant shoppers–club stores have on bookselling in general, and it's not a happy discussion.

8 July 2003
MURDER, THEY WROTE: THE TOUR, PART 3 ... The final episode of Nancy Pate's book tour journal.

30 June 2003
MURDER, THEY WROTE: THE TOUR, PART 2 ... Part two of Nancy Pate's book tour journal.

25 June 2003
MURDER, THEY WROTE: THE TOUR ... Orlando Sentinel books editor files her first of three stories about what it's like from the other side—that is, what it's like to go out on a book tour for her own book, accompanied by her two cousins, who happen to be her co–authors.

17 June 2003
HOW I BECAME A DICK LIT WRITER WITHOUT EVEN TRYING ... In a MobyLives guest column, Steve Almond talks about how he was surprised at a conference to learn that what he was writing has been given a certain label ....

9 June 2003
INSIDE CHICK LIT WORLD ... "Chick Lit" author Caren Lissner didn't know she was a chick lit author when she wrote her first book, she says in a MobyLives guest column.

2 June 2003
SPIEGELMAN'S BURNING ... The MobyLives interview with Page Six reporter — and now novelist — Ian Spiegelman.

12 May 2003
PATRIOTS, ACT In a guest column, librarian Jessamyn West takes a look at the Patriot Act, and Congressman Bernie Sanders' fight agaisnt it.

5 May 2003
A TAXING SITUATION, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE Internet booksellers don't have to pay taxes, do they? Guest columnist Maud Newton, a former tax attorney, takes a look at the complicated answer.

13 March 2003
LIBRARY PORN ELEVATING MORE THAN MINDS Writer Chris Rodell visits a prestigious library and is shocked at what people are reading — or at least, looking at. So are librarians, he says.

14 February 2003
MOONBEAMS AND MARIGOLDS AT THE NEW YORK TIMES In a special posting, Gene Lyons discusses a New York Times review of a book about supposed Whitewater co–conspirator Susan MacDougal, wherein the reviewer quite obviously didn't read the book.

25 January 2003
17 LETTERS I MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT HAVE RECEIVED FROM C. MICHAEL CURTIS A guest column submitted from a writer requesting anonymity.

1 January 2003
THE 2002 MOBY AWARDS Another year's proof that the book business is the last bastion of intellectualism.

23 December 2002
HAIL & FAREWELL A farewell column to writers who died in 2002.

16 December 2002
KINSLEY FOR PRESIDENT All right, so Michael Kinsley didn't read all the books he was supposed to read when he was judging the National Book Award. But who reads anymore anyway?

9 December 2002
THE SECRET BESTSELLER LIST Two books from small presses about current politics are selling like crazy, but the mainstream media has barely noticed. Why?

2 December 2002
WINTER POETRY For a variety of interesting reasons, there seems to be a poetry revival going on. What are some of the highlights?

26 November 2002
ACCEPTING REJECTION If you're a writer, you quickly get desensitized to rejection letters ... don't you?

19 November 2002
LIMNING KAKUTANI If you're going to accuse a famously smart but harsh book critic of using a word incorrectly, shouldn't you know what the word means first?

11 November 2002
YANN MARTEL GETS AN IDEA Similarities between Yann Martel's new book and Moacyr Scliar's old one lead to accusations of plagiarism by Martel. Are those charges fair?

4 November 2002
DISCOVERING NEW & UNDERAPPRECIATED LITERARY ADS You can learn an awful lot from reading advertisements for books. But will it have anything to do with the book?

28 October 2002
CAN DO CANLIT Canadian literature features writers young and old, male and female, and of varying ethnic backgrounds, and the government gives writers, booksellers and publishers generous support. What's up with that?

21 October
BACKLASH BACKLASH Rumors of a "backlash" against hipsters such as Dave Eggers and Jonathan Franzen lead to a surprising consideration: Who started this backlash anyway?

14 October 2002
HISTORY LESSONS Historical fiction is seeming more and more accurately named, says guest columnist Alex Good — it's fictional history, in more ways than one.

7 October 2002
DAVID REMNICK'S LOVER David Remnick's appearance on the Don Imus radio program sparks this guest commentary by Philip Nobile questioning why Remnick failed to react to Imus' pointed homophobic remarks.

29 September 2002
KEVIN SAMPSELL AND FUTURE TENSE BOOKS He started with simple chapbooks in small print runs, and after many successful books, publisher Kevin Sampsell hopes to keep it to . . . simple chapbooks in small print runs.

23 September 2002
HE'S BAAAACK! THE RETURN OF J-FRANZ A multi–millionaire author wouldn't even apply for, let alone accept, scant taxpayer funds earmarked for struggling writers . . . would he?

16 September 2002
WHY On a book tour for a poetry anthology, people keep asking our intrepid columnist: Why poetry, why now?

11 Septmeber 2002
From the Archives: 9–11 What happens when a literary reporter has to file a column when his city is under attack?

3 September 2002
THAT OLE AUGUST SHUT–DOWN AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE People in the publishing business famously retreat to the Hamptons every summer. Yet weird things continue to happen . . .

26 August 2002
From the Archives: WHY ARE BOOK PRICES SO HIGH? Barnes & Noble head Len Riggio says that publishers are setting cover prices so high they're "abominations." But who's really driving the price of books up?

19 August 2002
From the Archives: WHEN WRITERS RUN FREE The new rage for "director's cut" versions of novels has recently given us unedited versions of books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren, and others. This is a good thing, right?

12 August 2002
From the Archives: I THINK DIFFERENT ALOT Does it drive you crazy that they spell "Kwik Trip" that way? Are you afraid to say so? Time for a little revolution.

4 August 2002
BEAU REGARDLESS OF THE OTHERSWhat would inspire someone who worked at Knopf to quit and start his own publishing company — and kick it off with a book by the Unabomber?

29 July 2002
THE TALK OF THE REST OF THE TOWN It's been going on for a while, and people have begun to talk: why are there so few women in the pages of The New Yorker?

15 July 2002
THE DISAPPEARING AUTHOR SYNDROME Lots of Barnes & Noble stores keep certain authors off the shelf and behind the counter. Why?

8 July 2002
THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY A new website called Verse Daily seems to be mimicking the most popular poetry website of them all, raising the question: can you have too many poetry websites?

1 July 2002
NOVEL CONCEPTS: INSIDE THE DALKEY ARCHIVES Some books seem to have become just too touchy for mainstream publishers and booksellers find a home at a small mid–Western press.

24 June 2002
POETRY IN NEW YORK — YES, REALLY Although lots of New York publishers have dropped poetry, a few significant houses haven't, and they have some great releases this summer.

16 June 2002
THE STORY OF MY LIFE — NO, REALLY A rash of "exaggerated" memoirs leads more than one commentator to ask: which is more honest, fiction or nonfiction?

3 June 2002
SNOBBY BEACH BOOKS Summer beach books are supposed to be a mindless experiences — aren't they?

27 May 2002
From the Archives: SON OF POTTERMANIA As the Harry Potter movie came out on video, people lined up for the midnight release. A look back at when people did that for the book.

19 May 2002
PHILLY CHEESE Newspapers in Philadelphia and St. Paul have jettisoned their book review sections because, the editors carefully explain, their readers don't, er, read.

12 May 2002
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM There were some depressing things to observe at this year's BookExpo America convention. So why was it so much fun?

5 May 2002
BOOK CLUBBED Oprah Winfrey took a drubbing for her exit speech. Luckily, some major intellectuals have stepped forward to shoulder the book club burden.

28 April 2002
MEN OF (MONOGRAMMED) LETTERS A fashion spread in the New York Times magazine features some well knkown "literary" authors wearing $2,000 sport coats. Is this advancing their art?

21 April 2002
USED BOOKS OR USED CUSTOMERS? CEO Jeff Bezos loves authors — unless, of course, they question his sales practices. In which case he goes ballistic.

15 April 2002
WHY ARE BOOK PRICES SO HIGH? Barnes & Noble head Len Riggio says that publishers are setting cover prices so high they're "abominations." But who's really driving the price of books up?

8 April 2002
WILLAMETTE REEK A popular newsweekly holds a fiction contest, and the story the guest judges choose as a winner winds up losing. Is it because the author is black?

31 March 2002
ALL RISE A survey shows people think chain booksellers have the lowest prices, but they'd rather shop in independents anyway. And another lawsuit accuses the chains of illegal practices. Is there an anti–chain revolt going on?

24 March 2002
ARE POETRY PRESSES LEADING THE SMALL PRESS REVOLUTION? Since September 11, people have been turning to small presses for the kind of serious fare conglomerate publishing ignores. Is the fluorishing world of small poetry pubs a sign of the future?

17 March 2002
IF YOU'RE TROUBLED BY THE TROUBLES The hard–to–understand history of Ireland's "The Troubles" make make a little more sense after reading some recommended books.

10 March 2002
IS SOMEONE AFTER DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN? A barage of anonymous e–mails spreading bad news about the embattled historian prompts some idea of what she's up against — even though she seems to be the only recent plagiarist to confess and try to make amends.

3 March 2002
ENEMIES AT THE GATE: KARL "KING" WENCLAS AND THE ULA A group of fed–up writers and zine publishers taking on the literary establishment, and, as their director explains, they've got some unorthodox tactics.

24 February 2002
ALL TOGETHER NOW Entire cities are getting together to read books together. That's a good thing, right?

17 February 2002
WHEN WAR HISTORIANS GO TO WAR Caleb Carr, scholar of military history, does the sensible thing when two women critize him: he turns into Rambo.

10 February 2002
WHEN WRITERS RUN FREE The new rage for "director's cut" versions of novels has recently given us unedited versions of books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren, and others. Is this what the writers would have wanted?

3 February 2002
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH Amazon made money, Jonathan Franzen kept talking, MobyLives got smeared by Lingua Franca's publisher — time for an update on continuing stories.

27 January 2002
AN AMERICAN WRITER IN PARIS Things are different in Paris, France — they put pictures of writers on the money!

22 January 2002
THE MANLY LIARS CLUB Stephen Ambrose, David McCullough, and Joseph Ellis finally get a female companion in their liar's club . . .

13 January 2002
WHEN HISTORY GOES POP Stephen Ambrose isn't the first pop historian to be caught playing fast and loose with the facts lately. What's behind it all?

7 January 2002
THE 2001 MOBY AWARDS Proof that the book biz is still the place for intellectualism: the year's dubious achievement awards.

30 December 2001
HAIL AND FAREWELL A remembrance of the dear and departed from the literary scene in 2001.

23 December 2001
MOBY'S TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2001 While it seemed like a year when people were talking more about writers than their books, it was actually a great year for all kinds of reading.

16 December 2001
THE YEAR IN REVIEW It seemed to be a year when gossipy stories about individual writers took over from the book industry's previous dominant story — consolidation. But was it really?

9 December 2001
TREND OF THE YEAR The book business is getting trendier and trendier. Which trends were the most interesting in 2001?

2 December 2001
WEIRD BOOKS FOR WEIRD PEOPLE It's easy to saunter into a bookstore and get someone a bestseller. But what if you've got to get something for someone with really weird taste?

25 November 2001
THE SHORT FICTION SCENE Faulkner called novels a place where "You can put a lot of trash." But in short stories, he said, "almost every word has got to be exactly right." So what are some good examples from the current crop of story collections?

18 November 2001
LOADED HISTORY Critics have raised some troubling questions about the research in historian Michael Bellesiles "Arming America." But amidst threats and name–calling, will he get a chance to defend himself?

4 November 2001
WHO KILLED LINGUA FRANCA? When a popular magazine goes under, the publishers says it's because a mystery backer pulled out . . . and no one asks who it is, or why, or mentions the multi–million dollar law suit against the publisher and .

28 October 2001
TOO COOL FOR OPRAH What happens when "The Corrections" author Jonathan Franzen is critical of Oprah Winfrey's Book Club? Franz–O–mania, that's what.

21 October 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOBY Amidst a flurry of notices that the novel is dead comes the 150th anniversary of a great novel that seems as alive as ever.

14 October 2001
THE CONTINUING DISSENT OF RENATA ADLER The New York Times reviews Renata Adler's new book but leaves a few things out. What are they afraid of? An exclusive interview with Adler.

7 October 2001
WHEN WRITERS ATTACK After B.R. Myers wrote an essay attacking some prominent writers because he didn't like their writing, Judith Shulevitz wrote an essay attacking Myers . . . because, she said, he was born outside the U.S.

30 September 2001
POETRY IN A TIME OF NEED In the wake of tragedy, more and more people seem to be turning to poetry. Luckily, there's a lot to choose from lately . . .

23 September 2001
WHERE THEY WERE Writers in New York when tragedy struck — such as John Updike, Colson Whitehead, and David Lehman — talk about what they saw . . .

17 September 2001
9–11 Stray and desperate thoughts of literature while watching tragedy unfold . . .

10 September 2001
YOUR AD HERE Fay Weldon agrees to use the name of a jewelry company in her new novel in return for money, and many in the industry are excited about it. But what does it really mean?

3 September 2001
FROM THE ARCHIVES: INTERPRETING TRANSLATIONS Got Russian? Me neither. So how do you know if the new "Anna Karenina" translation is any good?

26 August 2001
FROM THE ARCHIVES: WRITERS AT WORK A survey of some of the most interesting writing going on in new fiction these days — the author bios that appear in the back of the book.

19 August 2001
FROM THE ARCHIVES: SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS AT AMAZON.COM Aren’t you glad they have that search facility at on–line bookstores?

12 August 2001
UPDATE: BOOK BUSINESS GOT WEIRDER The book business has been a weird, tumultuous place this year, and updates on the biggest stories show it's staying that way.

5 August 2001
SPOON RIVER REVISITED The first–ever biography of Edgar Lee Masters serves as a reminder of the impact of his "Spoon River Anthology" on modern poetry, and prompts some interesting memories from his son.

29 July 2001
MS. EUDORA WHEN LAST SEEN At a public reading, Eudora Welty quietly delivers the writing lesson of a lifetime.

22 July 2001
THE FACT AND FICTION OF BESTSELLER LISTS How bestseller lists are compiled is a mystery, and everybody seems to have their own method. But a new way based on sales figures from the major chains is shaking up the book business.

15 July 2001
AUTHORIAL BEAUTY CONTEST Do those photos of beautiful young twenty–something authors The New Yorker runs alongside "debut" fiction really sell magazines or books?

8 July 2001
PART TWO: THE REAL WONDER BOY Part two of an interview with Chuck Kinder, whose book about his friendship with Raymond Carver was so long in the making it inspired one of his students, Michael Chabon, to write "The Wonder Boys."

1 July 2001
THE REAL WONDER BOY Part one of an interview with Chuck Kinder, whose book about his friendship with Raymond Carver was so long in the making it inspired one of his students, Michael Chabon, to write "The Wonder Boys."

24 June 2001
THE HISTORY LESSON OF JOSEPH ELLIS A history professor lies in class, and many say his scholarship — as in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book — is unaffected. But is it?

17 June 2001
MAKE BIG MONEY: BECOME A CANADIAN POET A new Canadian award attempts to put poetry back in the mainstream . . . by giving big money to poets who are already successful.

10 June 2001
THUS DOES ART MEET COMMERCE AT THE NEW YORKER The New Yorker's new publisher says put up enough cash and your story could be in the magazine.

3 June 2001
THE WILKOMIRSKI AFFAIR It was one of the most acclaimed books ever written about surviving the Holocaust. So why did its publishers withdraw it from publication?

27 May 2001
ELEVEN KINDS OF LONELINESS Long considered a "writer's writer," Richard Yates is finally getting mass recognition, ten years after his death. A remembrance from his bartender.

20 May 2001
VANITY, THY NAME IS FOREWORD ForeWord Magazine's plan to get authors to pay them for reviews seems insane, not to mention unethical — but they're doing it anyway. Why?

13 May 2001
HAL–O–MANIA ALL OVER AGAIN Hal Sirowitz, the official Poet Laureate of Queens, NY, is one of the best–selling writers in Finland. Hello?

6 May 2001
THE RETURN OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SHORT STORY? Ever since the great short story renaissance of the 1980s, it's been hard times for short stories. Has that changed?

29 April 2001
STAND–ALONE Some of our most prestigious newspapers, in the biggest book markets, are cutting back their book review sections, despite reader opposition. What's the real story?

22 April 2001
BOOKS ON TRIAL The book business is in tumult over the rise of mega-corporations and new technology, and a spate of recent court cases may have just put the tumult into overdrive.

15 April 2001
A DIVINE READING EXPERIENCE For a guy who's been dead for 700 years, Dante Alighieri is having a great spring.

8 April 2001
WRITERS AT WORK A survey of some of the most interesting writing going on in new fiction these days — the author bios that appear in the back of the book.

1 April 2001
HOW TO MAKE LITERARY JOURNALISTS NERVOUS One novelist gets a bad review and does the logical thing: He takes out a bounty on the reviewer.

25 March 2001
NPM MEANS NOT POETRY MONTH A roundup of poetry books expected out during National Poetry Month, and some that didn't wait.

18 March 2001
PERSISTENCE: MARCIA LIPSON To all the poets out there in the metaphoric hills.
•Some poems by Marcia Lipson.

11 March 2001
ANATOMY OF A HEADACHE Why would a publisher ask reviewers to send back a book?

4 March 2001
AMAZON DOT GONE? Have the wheels come off at the world’s largest bookstore?

25 February 2001
THE MANY, VARIED, NUMEROUS WAYS TO INTERPRET TRANSLATIONS Got Russian? Me neither. So how do you know if this new Anna Karenina translation is any good?

18 February 2001
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE POETS LAUREATE; OR, BOB The shocking results of my no–holds barred investigation.

11 February 2001
AMAZON GOES TO THE DOGS A former employee broke in and found — no kidding — dogs roaming the halls.

4 February 2001
BRITISH LITERARY AWARDS Wherein I prove conclusively that there will always be an England . . .

28 January 2001
SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS AT AMAZON.COM Aren’t you glad they have that search facility at on–line bookstores?

21 January 2001
SELF-PUBLISH AND PERISH There are bad ways to flak your own book, and then there are hopeless ways.

14 January 2001
HAIL AND FAREWELL To all the great writers who stopped writing in 2000.

7 January 2001
THE MOBY AWARDS, 2000 If you ask me, there were plenty of reasons during 2000 to conclude that the book business was still the business for intellectuals.

1 January 2001
MOBY’S TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2000 Despite the best efforts of the publishing industry, it was a great year for new books.


WHO KILLED LINGUA FRANCA? (from the MobyLives files) . . . When a popular magazine goes under, the publisher says it's because a mystery backer pulled out . . . and no one asks who it is, or why, or mentions the multi–million dollar law suit against the publisher and another of its publications, Arts & Letters Daily.

BILLY AND THE BULLIES (from Salon) . . . Did the world’s most powerful newspaper team up with the world’s biggest publisher and the world’s most popular poet to beat up a small poetry press? You decide.

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY (from the MobyLives archives) . . . Will somebody please explain this particular phenomenon to me: author photos by Marian Ettlinger?

THANKS, MOM (from the MobyLives archives) . . . Acknowledgment pages in novels? What’s up with that?


SPIEGELMAN'S BURNING (from the MobyLives files) . . . The complete and unexpurgated version of the controversial MobyLives interview with Page Six reporter — and now novelist — Ian Spiegelman.

CHUCK KINDER: THE REAL WONDER BOY (from the MobyLives files) . . . The complete transcript of a MobyLives interview with the novelist who inspired Michael Chabon's "The Wonder Boys." Kinder talks about the wild days carousing with his buddy, Raymond Carver (including the legendary night Carver hit his wife over the head with a liquor bottle), the heady crowd at Stanford's writing program, and how he feels about the book and movie he inspired.

INTERVIEW WITH THE HERETIC (from Salon) . . . Renata Adler on the story that seemed to incense the New York Times more than any other last year — hers.

     •follow up: THE CONTINUING DISSENT OF RENATA ADLER (from the MobyLives files) . . . A
     year after her contretemps with The New York Times, Adler talks about her new book,
     which includes some startling new evidence about the Sirica case, and some searing
     media criticism.

DID HE JUMP OR WAS HE PUSHED? (from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) . . . Christopher Lehmann–Haupt on his 35 years as a New York Times book critic, and why he left.

DON SELBY OF POETRYDAILY.COM (from the MobyLives files) . . . What would make a man quit being a lawyer? Why, poetry, of course.

THE AVANT-GARDIST'S DAUGHTER (from the Athens Banner Herald) . . . William Brautigan’s daughter talks about why it took her 20 years to publish her father’s last book.

HAL–O–MANIA (from the MobyLives files) . . . Hal Sirowitz, the official Poet Laureate of Queens, NY, is the best–selling writer in Norway. Hello?

WHY MIKE DAISEY BROKE INTO AMAZON.COM (from the MobyLives files) . . . A former Amazon true–believer tells why he used his old employee i.d. to sneak into “The Fortress of Doom.”


All material not otherwise attributed ©2000 – 2005 Dennis Loy Johnson.