Several interesting articles about the current state of books and reading

November 16, 2009 at 3:28 am (books, Magazines and newspapers)

In “The Vestigial Tale, “ Joel Achenbach explores the way in which the new technologies pose a danger to our powers of concentration.

In “Good Books Don’t Have To Be Hard,” Lev Grossman talks about our love of – and need for – a good story:

“The novel is getting entertaining again. Writers like Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Donna Tartt, Kelly Link, Audrey Niffenegger, Richard Price, Kate Atkinson, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke, to name just a few, are busily grafting the sophisticated, intensely aware literary language of Modernism onto the sturdy narrative roots of genre fiction: fantasy, science fiction, detective fiction, romance.

What can one say, except – Hurray!

Finally, here’s Hilary Mantel on historical fiction. It’s a subject about which she’s knowledgeable, having recently won the Man Booker Prize for Wolf Hall, her sprawling novel of the Tudor era. wolf-hall

Her piece in The Guardian opens thus: “Hans Holbein appeared to me in a dream, instantly recognisable because of the unflattering hat, like a flat shower cap, that he wears in his self-portrait.”

I’ve just started Wolf Hall, and I am already pumped. Methinks this novel is going to be one wild, terrific ride!

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