In my first draft of this review I said ‘Fates and Furies’ was both brilliant and boring. My editor said, “If it’s a bad book we shouldn’t run a long piece on it.” I said, “It’s not bad. I didn’t say it was bad. It’s original and terrifically inventive. It’s just got slow patches and […]

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Melanie is fifteen, innocent, and full of romantic dreams. She pretends to be a girl in a film, a magazine, a painting. She was too thin for a Titian or a Renoir but she contrived a pale, smug, Cranach Venus with a bit of net curtain wound round her head (…) She stuck moon-daisies in […]

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I was asked to write about my ‘year’s best’ books, which always makes me feel anxious and guilty (of not reading enough, of not having interesting taste). So instead I wrote about being alone for a few days, reading for ‘The Baby on the Fire Escape’ and discovering the unexpected.

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Here’s more info on the Tiptree symposium at the University of Oregon, December 4-5, 2015. It’s going to be a remarkable group of people, including the writers Ursula K. Le Guin, Suzy McKee Charnas, David Gerrold, and Karen Joy Fowler; my editor for the Tiptree book, Gordon Van Gelder; Alice Sheldon’s good friend and the […]

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To read her new memoir M Train you would hardly know that Patti Smith is a rock star. She doesn’t let on that at sixty-eight she’s a hard-working performer, touring, lecturing, doing benefit concerts, going to parties with fashion designers, making appearances with the Dalai Lama. In her sequel to Just Kids, her magical 2010 […]

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Jonathan Franzen is a little like Times Square, the Eiffel Tower, or a Dutch windmill. If you’re a local, you can protest all you want that he’s not the only sight worth seeing, that you know other, less touristy spots, that there’s more to our great country than this one monument that’s on all the postcards. The foreign visitors won’t be satisfied until they’ve been there.

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I’m looking forward to Emily St. John Mandel’s event at the American Book Center in Amsterdam. She’ll read from Station Eleven–the book I saw in every airport in America this summer–and I’ll do a Q&A with her afterward. The reading is Friday, August 28, at 18:30; more info at abc.nl/events.

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