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August 29, 2009

Shorties (Sherman Alexie, Nick Cave, and more)

South Coast Today interviews author Sherman Alexie.

Nick Cave talks to the Times Online about his new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro.

If the book is not a great advertisement for marriage, though, it’s an even worse one for fatherhood. “What makes Bunny monstrous, and what makes him sad, is that he’s on an epic flight from love,” Cave says. “His greatest adversary is the boy sitting in the car — because he loves his dad, no matter what this guy does.” It’s the boy’s love, in the end, that redeems Bunny. And it’s Cave’s love for his sons that seems to have redeemed him. “One of the things I love most in the world is being a father. There was a time when all the other things — lover, son — I didn’t think I was particularly good at, but I always felt that I had an instinctual style of fathering that was good for the kids.”

The Durham Herald Sun reviews one of the year's most anticipated story collections (for me, at least), New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2009.

A weekly must-read for music fans: John Sakamoto's Anti-Hit List at the Toronto Star.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lev Grossman examines how literary fiction is becoming exciting again.

The revolution is under way. 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. They're forging connections between literary spheres that have been hermetically sealed off from one another for a century. Look at Cormac ­McCarthy, who for years appeared to be the oldest living Modernist in captivity, but who has inaugurated his late period with a serial-killer novel followed by a work of apocalyptic science fiction. Look at Thomas Pynchon—in "Inherent Vice" he has swapped his usual cumbersome verbal calisthenics for the more maneuverable chassis of a hard-boiled detective novel.

At the New Yorker, Grossman discusses his new novel, The Magicians.

Austin Town Hall lists its 50 albums of the '00s.

The Current is streaming Haley Bonar's Minnesota State Fair performance.

Vanity Fair interviews author Garrison Keillor.

Conversational Reading is giving away a copy of Zak Smith's beautifully illustrated Gravity's Rainbow, titled Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow.

Stream video of Japandroids' Vancouver February performance at the band's website.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists