14 October 2004

Two from Maud

Maud Newton notes that the National Book Award finalists have been announced, and include Madeleine is Sleeping by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, a book that is sitting on my desk at this very moment, waiting to be read. (It was recommended to me both by a friend of the author, who said, "It's weird, you'll like it," and by Gwenda Bond, who once even mentioned me in the same post as the book -- a fact that may be an omen dooming the book to inevitable obscurity and failure.)

Maud also links to an interview with Jonathan Lethem, in which Lethem discusses contemporary fiction and its influences. For a guy who got his start writing for Asimov's and the now dearly-departed Aboriginal SF, Lethem has done well for himself, and identifies Don DeLillo as the writer who has merged the worlds of literary innovation and tradition. The most amusing part of the short, rather shallow interview is that whoever transcribed it conflated John Barth and Donald Barthelme into John Barthelme. I'd like to read a book by him! Giles Goat-Boy's Dead Father, The Snow White Factor, A Sabbatical in Paradise, "Lost in the School"....

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