Great American Novelist Walnut Surprise (nee Jonathan Franzen) on Edith Wharton's 150th birthday. Needs more bird watching references if you ask me.
But, wait! Over at Lapham's Quarterly they're denying WS' claim that Wharton was a prude. This can only end one way: pistols at dawn!
In other birthday news (this is a birthday blog), Richard Ford, Jonathan Lethem, and Amy Tan have birthdays this week. Twenty-one shots!
Have you read this NYT George Saunders-story-come-to-life Dickens World piece yet? Excerpt: "Its centerpiece was the Great Expectations boat ride, which started in a rat-infested creek, flew over the Thames, snaked through a graveyard and splashed into a sewer. Its staff had all been trained in Victorian accents and body language. Visitors could sit at a wooden desk and get berated by an angry Victorian schoolteacher, watch Dickensian holograms antagonize one another in a haunted house or set their kids loose in a rainbow-colored play area called, ominously, Fagin's Den, after the filthy kidnapper from 'Oliver Twist.'” Go read it right now, I'll wait here.
Also from that august publication, John Jeremiah Sullivan on Ireland.
Last Times thing: check out this list of the Lil Journals That Could. Then go support them!
For writers: A must read on gettin' that lettuce from literary magazines.
Last but not least, the most thorough article about romance novels you'll read all day. Love is all around us!