Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘lit and music’

Shop Talk |

99 problems but a blurb ain't one

There’s an art to book blurbing, as anyone who’s tried to write one can tell you. Over at the Kenyon Review, Jake Adam York takes a stab at classifying them. For example, there’s the “Lavish” type: The genre of the recommendation letter, a friend once observed, is hyperbole. Everything has to be stated in the superlative, so one reads for degrees of overstatement, hyper- and hypo-hyperbole, becoming a progressively more sensitive seismograph, searching out quavers and tremors or microscopic proportion. The blurb is a clear cousin or sibling, at least in the most common form in which sparrows of adjectives […]


Shop Talk |

Soundtracking a story

Earlier this week, I mentioned Heidi Julavits’ novel The Effect of Living Backwards, and how she thanks Track 4 of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in the acknowledgements. She suggests she listened to it over and over while writing the novel—but knowing this, would be interested to read the novel while listening to that track, wouldn’t it? The concept of a soundtrack to a book isn’t exactly new. For some time, the fabulous book and music blog Largehearted Boy has asked writers to make playlists for their books, and the resulting lists include the author’s notes on how the song relates […]


Reviews |

[Reviewlet] badbadbad, by Jesús Ángel García

Jesús Ángel García’s debut “transmedia” novel, badbadbad is fast, fun, irreverent, and unlike anything else in the fiction aisle. Starring a lead character who shares the author’s name, the book follows his descent from devout webmaster to the obsessed savior of a pornographic social network. Also included: a documentary, a soundtrack, a chapter-by-chapter YouTube playlist.


Interviews |

Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously: An Interview with Scott Nadelson

In conversation with Julie Judkins, author Scott Nadelson discusses how the “mad mystic hammering” of Bob Dylan inspired him to become a writer, why being a formerly reluctant reader informs his teaching, and how New Jersey has evolved in his fiction from an actual place to a state of being.


Shop Talk |

Rock of Authors

At first blush, few people are less like rock stars than writers. Generally speaking, we avoid the spotlight. We don’t have cool outfits, we don’t have groupies, and our tours are waaaay less flashy–and lucrative–than musicians’. But deep down there’s some connection between writing and rock. Lots of authors have compiled playlists for their books, most noteably on David Gutowski’s Largehearted Boy’s “Book Notes” section. It sounds like a recent trend, but it’s been going on for a while, according to Salon: Since 2005, in the site’s recurring Book Notes column, authors including Bret Easton Ellis, Sloane Crosley, Karen Russell, […]


Essays |

DFW + Me = An ‘Arranged’ Marriage of Music and Fiction

What happens when a composer falls in love with a David Foster Wallace short story? Eric Moe describes the genesis of his “sit-trag /concert monodrama” Tri-Stan, his correspondence with DFW about the project, the challenges of translating a short story to a one-woman vocal piece, and why “making art is a lot more exciting when big risks are being taken.”


Interviews |

Grunge Rock, Nabokov, and the Threat of Nuclear Apocalypse: An Interview with Tyler McMahon

Tyler McMahon’s new novel, How the Mistakes Were Made, is a tragedy set to rock and roll. In this conversation with Caleb Winters, McMahon recalls the paranoia of Cold War America, shares his experiences touring with a band, and reveals how writing can be like church.


Shop Talk |

Help launch The Little Bride!

Debut novelist Anna Solomon writes us: For the past six months, I’ve been working on an unusual and exciting collaboration with singer-songwriter Clare Burson: a literary-musical performance interweaving story, song, and projected images inspired by my novel, THE LITTLE BRIDE. We call it A Little Suite for The Little Bride, and we’ll be performing it at the Tenement Museum on Wednesday, September 7 to celebrate the book’s birthday and kick off a great party. The (free) performance will start at 6:30 PM at the Tenement Museum in NYC as part of the museum’s Tenement Talks reading series. There will also […]




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