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Posts Tagged ‘Tessa Hadley’

What We’re Loving: Foam, Florida, Fiction Binges

January 24, 2014 | by

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I received my first issue of Mothers News this week—and now I wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. A free monthly broadside out of Providence, Mothers News is hyper, delirious, and weird. And, I now realize, essential reading. The eight-page rag is best known, and rightly so, for its comics—with regular strips by C. F., Michael Deforge, Mickey Z, Brian Chippendale, and others—but all the content is of a piece. This issue manages, for instance, a column devoted to foam (“What do we know about foam?”—quite a bit, it turns out); a top-ten list that includes a brief excursion into the etymology of “hoist by my own petard”; and an announcement that the UN has designated 2014 the International Year of Family Farming and Crystallography (IYFF 2014 and IYCr2014, respectively). There’s also, of course, the Ambrose Bierce Memorial Word Jumble and a coveted ad from the Lon Chaney Society of New England. —Nicole Rudick

I’ve been dipping into T. D. Allman’s Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State, whose bright jacket belies its sharp dressing-down of our twenty-seventh state. In Allman’s telling, Florida is, and always has been, an accursed microcosm of the American dream—from its geology to its politics to its economics, everything about the place invites delusion, violence, and disaster. Some critics found this too apocalyptic, but I think Allman’s gloom is a valuable corrective, and he’s far from humorless; even his bibliography has fizz. (“Where the Boys Are [1960]. Groovy LA starlets play beach blanket bingo in Fort Lauderdale.”) You can read Florida, longlisted for last year’s National Book Award, as an erudite complement to Florida Man, a Twitter feed that lists the frighteningly constant stream of follies coming from the Sunshine State. The latest: “Florida Man Arrested for Beating Uncle with Toilet Seat.” —Dan Piepenbring

Over the long weekend I went on a New Yorker fiction binge and read every short story I’d missed in 2013. Among the gems I’d somehow overlooked: Tessa Hadley’s impeccable “Bad Dreams,” Thomas McGuane’s “Weight Watchers,” and “The Christmas Miracle,” by Rebecca Curtis, which is simply the funniest short story I have read in a year. It’s easy to carp at The New Yorker, because it’s an institution, but forget that and read the stories first. From week to week, they are often as interesting, as much fun to read, as anything in the magazine. —Lorin Stein Read More »


A Reading Rainbow, and Other News

May 13, 2013 | by

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  • Tessa Hadley on how to write tedium, interestingly.
  • Speaking of alleviating boredom: good reads for a long flight.
  • Can there ever be too many literary-tattoo roundups? Well, whatever your answer, here’s a good one!
  • LeVar Burton schools Stephen Colbert and Carey Mulligan on The Great Gatsby. But you don’t have to take his word for it!
  • Dan Brown apparently deals with writer’s block by hanging upside down.