- At Salon, Karen Maroda considers whether Sylvia Plath’s therapist, Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse, was competent to treat the suicidal poet.
- Kinky Friedman’s review of Jimmy Buffett’s latest fictional endeavor, A Salty Piece of Land, begins “There is a fine line between fiction and nonfiction, and I believe Jimmy Buffett and I snorted it in 1976.”
- Kurt Vonnegut says his failure as a Saab dealer “explains what would otherwise remain a deep mystery: Why the Swedes have never given me a Nobel Prize for Literature. Old Norwegian proverb: ‘Swedes have short dicks but long memories.'”
- Pogues* frontman Shane MacGowan arrived on the London punk scene in 1976:
after growing up in a Tipperary farmhouse (where a large extended family gave him Guinness aged just five) and a scholarship at Westminster public school that ended in drug-related disgrace after six months. Then, as now, his diet was literature (Brendan Behan, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, The A to Z of Communism . . .) washed down with whatever was available.
- William Faulkner, “at best, an indifferent student, never finish[ed] high school in Oxford, Miss. He entered the 11th grade, in September 1915, only to play football. When the season ended (somewhat ingloriously), he dropped out.”
- Introducing this year’s Oregon Book Awards, Rick Bass “told a funny story about how he started a discount lawn-mowing business in Jackson, Miss., just so he could be Eudora Welty’s ‘lawn boy.'”
- Molly Ringwald reviews books for The Hartford Courant. I’ve noticed the byline, but figured someone shared The Breakfast Club star’s name. Not so, says NY Mag. (Ringwald also “has plans for a novel, but ‘it’s not really far enough along yet to, like, even talk about really.” Via Trixie.)
- Do you know your literary adaptations?
* Bitchy side note: the interview also reveals that the current Pogues reunion came about when Cait O’Riordan encountered MacGowan after being thrown out of a bar for celebrating at Christmastime. Was she still exulting in her split from The New Sting?