The Albany Times Union's Paul Grohndahl has written a nice article about native son and recent American Academy of Arts and Letters award winner David Markson:
In 1966, he struck literary gold when he published "The Ballad of Dingus Magee," which sold well and was made into a movie starring Frank Sinatra. The book earned him a six-figure payday.
He's struggled financially ever since. He even sold off a collection of first editions inscribed by literary friends when he was strapped for cash. He is divorced from Elaine Markson, a noted literary agent.
Markson counted among his close buddies Malcolm Lowry, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut -- all deceased. Many of Markson's memories of them involve heavy drinking.
"Kerouac was always drunk. He'd ring my doorbell and crash on the couch in my apartment every time he came through New York," Markson recalled.
The Coen brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men is getting a lot of praise after its showing at Cannes.
Guest blogging at Ed's, Erin O'Brien writes about her six-year correspondence with the great Larry Brown. You should also check out her post about her brother, the novelest John O'Brien. Great stuff. Erin's regular blogging can be found here.
The Contra Costa Time's Randy Myers goes behind the scenes of a Chuck Palahniuk reading and gives us all a little insight into the types of people you might meet if you go to one. You can see some photos from one of his events and listen to Pahalniuk discuss his own planning for one his readings in the "On a Rant" audio slideshow.
Levi Asher tips his New York Mets hat to the Sopranos as "one of the most bookish television series ever, which is one of many reasons it will be missed after two more episodes complete the run." I previously noted the use of a William S. Burrough's voiceover on the show.
Happily for Vice, he had a big fan in Jim Gilbert, editor at Montgomery's River City Publishing. Almost as soon as Georgia recalled the collection, Gilbert began to study whether he should acquire and republish it. If he did, he would include all the appropriate attributions as well as essays from scholars about the dust-up.
During a recent e-mail interview, Gilbert explained why he wanted to take on Vice's tarnished collection. The decision was, he declared, "Very simple: these are great stories ... in all the hubbub, people seemed to forget how strange and moving and original stories like 'Mojo Farmer' and 'Artifacts' and the title story really are." Gilbert admitted that it didn't look like a bad business decision, either: "As an editor I'm also a capitalist. Here was something notorious and missing from the marketplace."
Joshua Ferris's debut novel, Then We Came to the End, has been optioned by HBO Films.
Mick Jagger's ex-wife Jerry Hall plans to debut her "pretty dark" poetry at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July.
Wilco's Jeff Tweedy talks to The Independent about the new album and about his lifelong battle with depression:
But, I say to him, you have two kids (Spencer, 11, and Sam 7), you have a gorgeous wife (Sue, who Tweedy met when she was the owner of Lounge Ax, one of Chicago's seminal indie venues in the 1980s and 1990s), you are in, perhaps, the greatest rock band of my lifetime... "Well," he interrupts, "that's one of the diabolical things about depression and any sufferer will tell you that. Intellectually, you can look around and count your blessings, the problem is that you can't make yourself feel any better. Panic disorder makes you feel as if you're being chased by a lion. You know that you're not, but you are still incapable of stopping your body and your emotions from feeling as if they are."