Thursday, December 30, 2010

Three great reads

Here I am at an antiwar rally in Central Park (that’s me with the peace button on my shirt). I have arrived at what I think of as the summit of the world. Everything is within my reach in New York, and the intoxication of it is such that I will be expelled from that high school before the end of the year. —Luc Sante, "This Long Century"

In the latest Lapham's Quarterly, Paul Collins writes about child prodigy Barbara Newhall Follett, who published her first novel, The House Without Windows, to acclaim at age 12; at 26, she disappeared. An excerpt from Lost Island, her third novel:
Not even a cat was out. The rain surged down with a steady drone. It meant to harm New York and everyone there. The gutters could not contain it. Long ago they had despaired of the job and surrendered. But the rain paid no attention to them…New York people never lived in houses or even in burrows. They inhabited cells in stone cliffs. They timed the cooking of their eggs by the nearest traffic light. If the light went wrong, so did the eggs…

“I don’t like civilization,” she said, to the rain.

(Shades of Daisy Ashford...and Lee Tandy Schwartzman...)

Adam Kempa, who wrote about unusual vinyl-groove techniques in the Believer's music issue, has picked his top one book of 2010: Touchable Sound: A Collection of 7-Inch Records From the USA. Adam's recommendation turns into an interview turns into a multimedia extravaganza...

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