Sunday, May 25, 2008

Grabbed From the Web: Mailer, Naipaul, Chabon


First, appropriately enough, an article about what people do on the internet. The British literary magazine Granta surveyed a number of authors, editors, agents and other literary types asking them how they used the web. The name of the article was "The Web Habits of Highly Effective People," but, judging by the number of websites those surveyed said they visited, you wonder how they got anything done at all.

Miami and the Siege of Chicago, Norman Mailer's account of the 1968 presidential campaign, is being reissued later this year. Here is Frank Rich's introduction to the new edition. Meanwhile, I mentioned a few days ago that Barack Obama is evidently reading Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World. The Los Angeles Times recently profiled Zakaria.

A couple of articles about V. S. Naipaul, the highly acclaimed -- but somewhat incorrigible -- winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature. In his writings Naipaul has often been critical of his native Trinidad (he left while still a teenager), and, as David Shaftel reports, his countrymen often return his lack of affection. A new authorized biography of Naipaul has just been published in Britain (it's due out in the States next November). A. N. Wilson reviews it in the TLS, and reports that Naipaul has made no attempts to have the more unattractive aspects of his personal life left out.

The prodigiously talented Michael Chabon sits down for a Q&A with Reuters. Bad news for us aspiring writers: when Chabon is asked what the key is to being a successful author, he replies, "Discipline and hard work." Rats -- I was hoping for a shortcut.

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