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November 11, 2009

Shorties (Jonathan Lethem, Herta Muller, and more)

The Miami New Times interviews author Jonathan Lethem.

What differentiates Chronic City for you from your other novels, besides the fact that it's the first one set in Manhattan?

I put a lot of effort into making each novel different, but I'm especially proud of this one. It's a special book for me. But if I had any corrective for the reviews that have come out so far, I'd say most gloss over the fact that it's a really funny book. When I read it aloud, people are usually laughing. It's definitely as manic and funny as Motherless Brooklyn.

The Wall Street Journal profiles 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Herta Muller.

Kafka is the most commonly cited ancestor for Ms. Muller's writing. His empathy for the powerless and his alien status as a Czech Jew writing in German reflects her own mingled heritage. The blunt rhythms of Brecht, another Swabian, also can be heard in her prose. Joyce, Faulkner and Woolf seem to have influenced her evocations of childhood.

At the Guardian music blog, Simon Reynolds shares his thoughts on the music of the past decade.

The New York Times reviews Vladimir Nabokov's posthumous novel, The Original of Laura.

The Kickstarter blog offers artists a list of what fans will pay for when funding a project.

My Year of Mixtapes is sharing a new downloadable mixtape every week.

Newsarama continues its interview with author Lev Grossman.

The Guardian's music blog explains why Christmas songs can never be cool.

Rosanne Cash visits The Current for an interview and live performance.

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

also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2009" book lists
online "best of 2009" music lists
best of the decade (2000-2009) online music lists

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