- Rejoice, O fans of George Saunders’ recent political offerings. Publishers Lunch reports that Riverhead will publish Saunders’ allegorical novel, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, next year.
- Lorrie Moore has been named this year’s winner of the $30,000 Rea Award for the short story. Established in 1986, the prize honors living American writers who have made a “significant contribution to the short story form.”
- Jonathan Yardley recently reread J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and found that the “combination of Salinger’s execrable prose and Caulfield’s jejune narcissism produced effects comparable to mainlining castor oil.” (Via Jimmy at Old Hag, where the consensus is:
We don’t remember it as the greatest book ever written, but compared to some of the other gems on our high school reading list back in the Paleozoic (e.g., ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,’ ‘The Rise and Fall of Lewis Lapham’), we’re not entirely sure it deserves this kind of ardent assfucking.
Possessing the emotional maturity of a 14-year-old-boy but not having revisited the book since my first year in college, I’m not sure my opinion counts, but — in theory at least — I’m still a sucker for Salinger. See also Michael Schaub’s dissection of Yardley’s review and defense of Salinger’s novel.)