Posts Tagged ‘Ray Bradbury’
July 31, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
December 28, 2012 | by John Lingan
I was dragging my five-year-old daughter through the musty stacks of my favorite used bookstore last spring when a middle-aged man, squatting in the Sci-Fi section next to a brimming cardboard box, caught my eye and reminded me of someone.
“Excuse me,” I asked, “are you a writer?”
“I am,” he said, standing up and straightening his glasses. His eyes were deep set and hard to read. He was bashful.
“Are you Michael Dirda?” I asked.
It was him: the book critic and author, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, known apocryphally as the best-read man in America, whose essays had enticed me to read everything from Little, Big to Three Men in a Boat—and here he was, squinting his way through the lowest shelves in the same crusty bargain dungeon I came to all the time.
“Amazing. Nina, this is the man who wrote that little letter that we have in your George and Martha,” I told my daughter. Nina was nonplussed.
“When I was eight, in 1992,” I explained, “I wrote a letter to the Washington Post when James Marshall died and you printed it in the Book World section and even wrote a sweet little response. And her grandpa put a photocopy of that letter in The Complete George and Martha for her.”
December 10, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
September 28, 2012 | by The Paris Review
I’m not really a fan of family-drama novels—I make exceptions for Lionel Shriver and Jane Smiley—but when one is set in your home state and the author teaches at your alma mater, it seems like required reading. Now I can make Andrew Porter’s In Between Days an exception, too. This story of a family’s collapse begins after the falling apart—infidelity, divorce, coming out, leaving for college—has already taken place. There’s more dysfunction to come, but the real treat is Porter’s plainspoken treatment of his characters, quiet and intense, and the revelation of fine but substantive fractures that are impossible to repair. —Nicole Rudick
Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delauney published The Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jeanne of France in 1913, calling it “The First Book of Simultaneity.” Cendrars’s poem, recounting a journey he may or may not have taken from Moscow to Manchuria, was accompanied by Delauney’s scroll of abstract forms in bright colors. The idea was that the reader should take in the text and painting simultaneously, and the poem strives gamely toward the same goal: “So many associations images I can’t get into my poem / Because I’m still such a really bad poet / Because the universe rushes over me / And I didn’t bother to insure myself against train wreck.” A facsimile edition of the original book—a gorgeous, unfolding paper accordion—has been published by Yale, and I’ve been staring at it all afternoon. —Robyn Creswell
August 29, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
July 25, 2012 | by The Paris Review
Our inbox runneth over! We asked you to describe the facing image in three hundred words—in the style of Ernest Hemingway, P. G. Wodehouse, Joan Didion, Elizabeth Bishop, or Ray Bradbury—and some two hundred of you did just that. We had hoped to announce a winner yesterday, but it took us this long just to read through all the manly terseness, Jeevesian whimsy, California deadpan, villanelles (“Write it! Pedal faster”), and Martiana. Plus a surprising number of entries that went their own way and ignored the “in the style of” part of the contest—thereby forfeiting the chance to win a bicycle but showing impressive powers of imagination when it comes to devils and flappers on wheels.
The Drones’ First Annual Charity Tour De Blandings and Fancy Dress Ball took a wrong turn when Freddie Widgeon and Billie Mainwaring arrived. Somehow each had misread the invitation and got the idea that the cycling was fancy dress. Billie came as a “Muse of Modern Dance,” all chiffon and gauze and trailing scarves. Isadora Duncan on a velocipede. Freddie had on a fearfully complete devil’s costume, though how he’d pedal in those hoof-shaped boots got right past me.