Friday March 12th, 2010

In the Ether

wyndham-lewisCy Fox spent 50 years building a collection of work by writer and artist Wyndham Lewis. He then donated it all to the University of Victoria in British Columbia. A look at the collection and the renewed interest in Lewis. (Via Books, Inq.) . . . The top 13 novels about drugs. Commenters at HTML Giant rightly point out that Jesus’ Son is missing; though it might just be that it doesn’t qualify as a novel. . . . In a world of Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore, it’s worth remembering that some people are deservedly famous, and Michael Lewis is one of them. Robert Birnbaum praises his “unerring sense of story, his investigative skills, and clear, concise reportorial prose,” and recommends his latest, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, about the financial crisis. . . . John Gall writes about designing the paperback cover for Up in the Air in the wake of September 11. . . . A historical, almost tactile-through-the-screen pleasure: a very large gallery of book trade labels. (“Booksellers, binders, printers, publishers, importers, and distributors of books used to advertise in this way their part in bringing the book to market.”) . . . The Tournament of Books is off to a wild start. First, the book-club-ready narrative satisfactions of Barbara Kingsolver and Kathryn Stockett beat out the edgier credentials of Bill Cotter and John Wray, respectively. And now, Richard Russo loses to a book the judge hasn’t even finished. . . . I didn’t know that Milkweed was reissuing Ken Kalfus’ debut collection of stories, Thirst. That’s good news.