William Butler Yeats turns 147 today. Oh you forgot? Huge surprise. Calm down, I had an edible arrangement sent to his office and put both our names on the card.
From the Times: Andre Dubus III thinks Richard Ford's Canada is "a masterwork by one of our finest writers working at the top of his form." I am reading this and he is right. It's a really good book.
Here's an op-ed from Cynthia Ozick about whether the (now discontinued) Orange Prize is sexist. Not gonna touch that with a ten-foot pole, but feel free to have thoughts about it.
Summer issue of the Paris Review, y'all. Cover's got dos fierce birds brawlin' Audubon style. Plus, fiction from Sam Lipsyte and Ann Beattie, poetry from John Ashbery and world's most prolific ghost Roberto Bolaño, and interviews with Tony Kushner and Wallace Shawn (this little homunculus). Looks great.
Also from the Paris Review, check out these drawings by Sylvia Plath. Curious French cat for the win.
Charles Simic's column on the NYRB blog is excellent. This week's post touches on a poetry festival in 1970s Macedonia, Sappho, an amazing-sounding bookstore in Manhattan, Wallace Stevens, and the Soviet Union.
The Telegraph's got an interview with Martin Amis (if you're not deep into the Amis dynasty go away and don't come back til you've done the reading). From the interview: "Writing at bottom is a joyful and erotic business and it all comes from the positive side of you, but you do have to earn a novel."
As of today, Thomas Pynchon's novels are all available on e-book. This article also notes that Pynchon has embraced the fax machine as his preferred form of communication. Ha, "Did it go through?" "I don't know. It made that sound." "Did you put the paper in the right way?" "Ah okay, there it goes." Faxing! It's the coming thing.
John Waters hitchhiked across America for a new book he's writing for FSG called Carsick. Here's an account from a touring indie rock band that spent six hours in the car with him. When they picked him up he was wearing a hat that said "Scum of the Earth." Ahhh, Waters!