Posts Tagged ‘Elif Batuman’
April 8, 2011 | by Thessaly La Force
On Tuesday, The Paris Review will be hosting its Spring Revel, a fund-raiser held each year at Cipriani’s 42nd Street. As readers of The Daily may already know, Robert Redford will be presenting James Salter with The Paris Review Hadada; Fran Lebowitz will be awarding Elif Batuman the Terry Southern Humor Prize for her piece in The Daily called “My 12-Hour Blind Date with Dostoevsky”; and Ann Beattie will be giving April Ayers Lawson the Plimpton Prize for her short story “Virgin.” It’s a very fun affair. To quote Mary Karr: the Revel is “prom for New York intellectuals.”
We are excited for those of you who are already coming. A few tickets are left, and it goes without saying that they are available for purchase to all of our readers.
March 23, 2011 | by Lorin Stein
On Tuesday, April 12, The Paris Review will single out two young writers at its Spring Revel.
Elif Batuman will receive the first-ever Terry Southern Prize for Humor for “My Twelve-Hour Blind Date, with Dostoevsky,” her five-part account of a marathon theatrical performance on Governor’s Island. The series appeared last July on The Paris Review Daily.
The Plimpton Prize for Fiction is a $10,000 award given to a new voice published in The Paris Review. The prize is named for the Review’s longtime editor George Plimpton and reflects his commitment to discovering new writers of exceptional merit. The winner is chosen by the Board of the Review. This year's prize will be presented by Ann Beattie.
The Terry Southern Prize for Humor is a $5,000 award recognizing wit, panache, and sprezzatura in work published by The Paris Review or online by the Daily. Perhaps best known as the screenwriter behind Dr. Strangelove and Easy Rider, Terry Southern was also a satirical novelist, a pioneering New Journalist, and a driving force behind the early Paris Review.
This year’s winner of the Terry Southern Prize was chosen by a panel of three judges: critic Sam Anderson of The New York Times, editor Chris Jackson of Spiegel & Grau, and writer Fran Lebowitz. Lebowitz will present the prize.
And, of course, the honoree of this year’s Revel is James Salter. Robert Redford will present Salter with the 2011 Hadada, the Review’s lifetime achievement award recognizing a “strong and unique contribution to literature.” Previous recipients of the Hadada include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton (posthumously), Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, and William Styron.
Come help us celebrate—and support your favorite literary magazine (and arts gazette!). Buy your ticket now!
October 28, 2010 | by Lorin Stein
Last night, ten writers “of exceptional talent and promise in early career” received $50,000 each from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. We proudly lay claim to two of them: Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, whose story, “Most Livable City,” appeared our spring 2006 issue; and our special Dostoevsky correspondent, Elif Batuman.
In his speech congratulating the winners, The Paris Review’s own Peter Matthiessen spoke from experience, counseling novelists in the crowd to intersperse their fiction with gigs that get them out into the world. He also reminisced about the early days of the Review with much sympathy—if not consolation—for young writers facing the sophomore slump.
We add our congratulations to his!
September 24, 2010 | by Lorin Stein
My ex-boyfriend’s birthday is fast approaching. He’s not just any ex—he’s The Ex, the one responsible for approximately ninety percent of my current taste in books, film, and music. We’re still friends, and I want to buy him a book, but I’m stuck. What do you buy for the man who's read everything, and introduced you to all the authors you love? —Joelle D.
Come with a backup. My friend Jennifer and I tend to like the same books, but she has read much, much more than I have. So a few years ago, when I gave her Henry Green’s novel Loving, I kept stashed away (already wrapped up) J. R. Ackerley’s memoir My Father and Myself. She'd read both, as it turned out ... but claimed that she had been “meaning to reread Ackerley for years.” It was such a nice lie. I hope your ex would say the same were he in her shoes. He sounds lucky to have you!
September 17, 2010 | by The Paris Review
What we’ve been reading.
The Cross of Redemption, James Baldwin’s uncollected prose. So absorbing I woke up thinking about it this morning, showered and shaved, and stepped back into the shower. (“You’re wet. You showered,” was my first non-Baldwin thought of the day.) —Lorin Stein
“The First Tycoon of Teen,” Tom Wolfe’s 1964 profile of pop wunderkind Phil Spector—“the first millionaire businessman to rise up out of the teen-age netherworld.” At 23, Spector had already produced “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” “He’s a Rebel,” “Be My Baby,” “Da Do Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Uptown,” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.” “I get a little angry when people say it's bad music,” Spector tells Wolfe. “It has limited chord changes, and people are always saying the words are banal and why doesn't anybody write lyrics like Cole Porter anymore, but we don’t have presidents like Lincoln anymore either.” —David Wallace-Wells
A recent poem from The New Yorker called, “On the Inevitable Decline Into Mediocrity of the Popular Musician Who Attains a Comfortable Middle Age.” It goes: “O Sting, where is thy death?” —Daisy Atterbury
In the midst of a renewed discussion about female writers and their relationship with the literary establishment, This Recording re-published a piece written by Margaret Atwood in 1976 entitled “On Being A 'Woman Writer.’” Atwood is clear, calm, thorough and undeniably relevant: it wasn't until I got to the bottom of the essay that I realized the piece was over thirty years old. —Miranda Popkey
Elif Batuman’s astounding “Get A Real Degree” in the London Review of Books, which begins as an focused inquiry into the MFA program microculture but expands outward and outward and outward again, until the entire horizon of post-Quixote literature has been pulled into view. —D. W.-W.
I recently watched The Red Stuff, a documentary about the Soviet Union’s race to space. It’s bizarre to see Russian astronauts, especially those now past their prime and overweight, surrounded by Russian space memorabilia. But what I wanna know? Space ice cream. Do the Russians now sell it at their science museums like we do? Also recently viewed: IMAX: Hubble 3D, about the last flight to the Hubble Space Telescope. The images of earth are so beautiful that I cried. —Thessaly La Force
A mesmerizing essay in The Nation on Javier Marías and his Your Face Tomorrow trilogy by the man I'm beginning to think is the best critic writing today, William Deresiewicz. “Marías’s Europeanness is of the autumnal variety, much in evidence in recent decades, the product of a ripened civilization that feels itself equipped for nothing but the harvest," Deresiewicz writes. “Reflection in James or Proust,” he continues, “isn't a commentary on the story; it is essential to the story. It hugs the plot like a lining of a coat. It exposes character, develops relationships, shapes action. It gives utterance to feeling and direction to choice. It evolves, as the protagonists themselves evolve. But reflection in Your Face Tomorrow rarely does any of those things; it simply sits alone in its study, watching the plot go by.” —D. W.-W.
September 3, 2010 | by Lorin Stein
Any reading material for a pathologically shy 33-year-old woman? Who misses sex and fucking and making love and all that? Who even misses blowjobs. Who hasn't gone out with a man in ages? How do people even talk to each other anymore? I've forgotten. —November Whisky
Gosh, poor you. Shyness can be so hard. The first book I would read, if I wanted to reconstruct the language of sex and romance, is Mary Gaitskill's novel Veronica. Or really any of her books. You always get the feeling (at least I do) that Gaitskill is asking herself a question very much like yours. Asking and answering. For similar reasons you might also try Elizabeth Bowen, for example The Heat of the Day. Neither book is cheerful, exactly, but I think they might speak to your condition. Take heart!