Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."
Lorrie Moore isn't quite a household name. This was news to me, because I thought that, given that she's the kind of writer who's published in The New Yorker and profiled in The New York Times, most culture vultures would know who she is. But, over the past couple of weeks when I mentioned her new book, Bark, in conversations, both in the halls of academe and over meals with friends, I mostly got blank stares. (One smarty confused her with that other great literary "Lorrie" â€” the late Laurie Colwin â€” whose short stories and novels are also essential reading.)
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:02 am
By Emily Hilliard
The history of doughnuts is intrinsically linked to the celebration of Mardi Gras. "Fat Tuesday" â€” the Christian day of revelry and indulgence before the austere season of Lent â€” features dough deep-fried in fat as its main staple.
There are eight stories in Lorrie Moore's new collection, but only two of them really stand out. Moore's one of the country's most admired writers â€“ and maybe I was so dazzled by the brilliance and power of the two longest stories in these pages that I couldn't read the other pieces â€” which I found either a little off-kilter or too subtly played â€” without feeling a certain amount of loss. But my possibly cock-eyed view of Bark is that it's a book, or at least half a book, that anyone who loves contemporary fiction should have a go at.
If it seems like male authors get more attention, there are hard numbers to back that up: The VIDA count.
VIDA is a women's literary organization, and the "count" is the result of eight months spent tracking gender disparity in leading publications. VIDA tallies the gender of authors whose books are being reviewed as well as the gender of those doing the reviewing.
What is it about comedians itching to get between the covers â€” book covers, that is? Annabelle Gurwitch's I See You Made An Effort, a seriously funny collection of essays about teetering over the edge of 50, makes it clear that the draw isn't strictly literary. To tweak Peter Steiner's classic New Yorker cartoon: On the page, nobody knows how old you are.
The singer and songwriter Beck is considered one of the most innovative artists of his generation. This week, he released "Morning Phase," his first new album in six years. Critic Tom Moon says the new record returns back to the brooding pop of 2002's "Sea Change," which many consider his best work.