Milan Kundera's birthday was on Sunday. Celebrate belatedly by reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being (if you are 19 years old or enjoy being uncomfortably aroused in public).
By the way, this is the website where I find the author birthdays every week. Don't worry, I double check them (journalism!), but is that the coolest website you've ever seen or what? The Mencken quote at the top and that burning flower motif? Not at all puzzling. Whatever you do, do not click on the "About EJ" tab unless you want your dreams haunted by the ghost that [Spoiler alert for a show that was on in 1990!] made Leland Palmer kill Laura on Twin Peaks.
I'm late to the party on this (the, uh, death party I guess?) but Adrienne Rich died last week at age 82. Very sad.
Poet Eileen Myles has a new book coming out. Here is an interview with her.
Comic novelist Mark Leyner is back from outer space with his first novel since 1997, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack. It was reviewed here, which gave me an excuse to say "nutsack" to my mother in our weekly discussion of the Book Review [high fives no one]. Also check out this longer piece about him from a couple weeks ago.
Adam Gopnik has an essay on Camus in this week's New Yorker. He talks about it here. You can find this week's New Yorker in the pile with last week's New Yorker and the week before's New Yorker. Will this be the weekend that you get to them? That depends on whether they've cancelled SVU and literally every other procedural on television.
The Millions breaks its legendary silence about the MFA debate. At last!
Okay one more thing from the Times (Barnstorm: your number one source for links to the New York Times!). What do you make of this debate about the rules of literary fiction for men and women? Personally, I'm girls rule boys drool for life no take backs.