Not Much, But Enough
In the last thirty pages of his final novel, Kent Haruf breaks the fourth wall
By Evan P. Schneider
In a fascinating scene between two old, longtime residents of Holt, written by an aging writer who won't live to see the publication of the book he's writing, Haruf has his characters discuss the plausibility of their lives being dramatized. One gets the sense that Haruf is subtly suggesting that even after having spent the last three decades writing about, and arguably living within, Holt, he still doesn't feel as if he has gotten it quite right.
Late Night Library
Late Night Convo: Monica Ong
Host Kristin Maffei talks to visual artist and poet Monica Ong. Monica is the daughter of immigrants and talks about her work at the intersection of visual art and poetry, the physical repercussions of cultural change, and the impact of what she calls cultural silences.
Crime Stories With People We Know and Recognize
Laura Lippman Talks About Baltimore, Tess Monaghan, and Points of View
By Alex Behr
"In some ways the novel is much less about 'who done it,' although that information is supplied, than how character is revealed in the aftermath of something horrible. How did everyone behave? What were their impulses?" Laura Lippman talks to Alex Behr about crime writing and the question of character in Lippman's latest Tess Monaghan mystery, Hush Hush.
Annals of American Marketing
in the Rex Zone
Memorial Day Display Blows Minds
By Pete Tothero
Does a photo of an innocuous grocery store display sent in by a reader signal the arrival of a savage marketing supergenius overlord who will soon rule us all?
Paradise for Our Neighbors
Realism vs. Moralism in Middlemarch
By Emily Burns Morgan
In George Eliot's Middlemarch, traumatic events don't occur because women are making decisions about their lives, but neither does their relative autonomy result in paradise on earth. Women and men are equally fallible. Very fallible.
Mary Ruefle and Acts of Love
By Wendy Bourgeois
My body is a sealed jar of three generations worth of undigested, burbling discord and apparently I'd rather have an aneurysm than take the lid off.
Friends With Benefits
Rebecca Kelley Talks About Her Novel of Modern Relationships
By Christi R. Suzanne
"In classic love stories, love and marriage were often a matter of survival for women. We don't need to find love to be fulfilled these days, but that doesn't mean we have relationships all figured out." Rebecca Kelley chats about her new novel, Broken Homes and Gardens.
Late Night Library
Late Night Interview: Laura Moulton
Laura Moulton is the founder of Street Books, a nonprofit mobile library that serves people who live outside in Portland, Oregon. Corinne Gould talks with Moulton about the origin of Street Books and the spaces where activism and art interact.
Earnest and Dumb is a Good Look
Watching (and Surviving) Roar!
By Benjamin Craig
Noel Marshall is riding a motorcycle. He is weaving through a small pride of adult lions on uneven ground, not wearing a helmet, while they playfully bat at and chase him. I am working at tempering my anxiety. I know this is going to get much, much worse.
Uncle Film Nut
Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide Bids Adieu
By Alan Limnis
Maltin's movie guides are (were?) not serious books, and for this we owe him a debt of gratitude—there is much to be said for not being serious.
Players the Portland Trail Blazers Do Lose To
By Pete Tothero
Left-handed players, right-handed players, many kinds of players. A list.
"My father had been just eight years old when the Giants came to San Francisco. The team had brought with them Willie Mays and my father's early favorite, Hank Sauer. My father had his own disappointing father, and a brother who had already left home, and now—just when he needed it—a thing for a boy to care about with other boys: baseball."
Album Bracketology Seeks the Best Album of 2014
Contradictions Abound, Editorial Staff Gives Up
By Matthew Kauffman Smith
The complete, unabridged installments of the popular music album tournament so sprawling and convoluted that readers are speechless and editors disgusted. This year's tourney features additional commentary by Heather Kropf, one of the competitors.
Part One: The Confusing Tourney Intro
Part Two: The Contradictory Opening Rounds
Part Three: The Double-Negative Middle Rounds
Part Four: The Alarming Tilt Toward Easy Listening
Part Five: "Nice Little Stories" in the Loser's Bracket
Part Six: Overly Experimental 2015 Music Tourney Names 2014 Champion