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Posts Tagged ‘Elif Batuman’

Hatchet Job: When Bad Reviewers Go Good

November 19, 2012 | by

In February of this year, Adam Mars-Jones, an English writer not much known in this country, won the inaugural Hatchet Job of the Year award for his review of Michael Cunningham’s Nightfall: “And a two-person epiphany has to outrank the single kind. Two comely young people standing in the lake shallows, ‘looking out at the milky haze of the horizon’—that’s not an epiphany, that’s a postcard.”

Geoff Dyer, another English writer, much better known since 2008’s Death in Venice, Jeff in Varanisi brought most of his strange work back into print, was nominated for his attack on Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending:

Later, after Tony has broken up with his girlfriend, Adrian commits suicide. This would be my first objection. Obviously people commit suicide, for a variety of reasons, but in fiction they tend to do so primarily in the service of authorial convenience. And convenience invariably becomes a near-anagram of contrivance.

The impulse behind good bad reviews is not much understood, and whether understood or not, is usually disliked or dismissed. It’s considered ungenerous, as though generosity could never be misplaced. Read More »

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Lunch Poems, Mixtapes, Beats

May 30, 2012 | by

  • Spend your lunch at MoMA with Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems, written while O’Hara worked at the museum.
  • The name says it all: Gladwell title generator.
  • Elif Batuman visits Orhan Pamuk’s Musuem of Innocence, with eye-opening results.
  • Ask Maira Kalman. She’ll answer questions live!
  • Watch the trailer for On the Road.
  • A literary mixtape for … the brain? Eyes?
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    Last Chance for Tickets to the Revel!

    April 8, 2011 | by

    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.

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    April Ayers Lawson Wins Plimpton Prize; Elif Batuman Wins Inaugural Terry Southern Prize for Humor

    March 23, 2011 | by

    Left, April Lawson; Right, Elif Batuman.

    On Tuesday, April 12, The Paris Review will single out two young writers at its Spring Revel.

    April Ayers Lawson will receive the Review’s Plimpton Prize for “Virgin,” which appeared in our fall issue and marked Lawson's national debut.

    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!

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    2010 Whiting Writers’ Awards

    October 28, 2010 | by

    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!

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    Books for the Well-Read; Narratology

    September 24, 2010 | by

    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!

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