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William T. Vollmann

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  • Literary journalism finds new platforms

    Literary journalism finds new platforms
    When National Book Award-winning novelist William T. Vollmann went to Japan this spring to report on the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant from inside the contamination zone, he did what any journalist would do. He bought a dosimeter to chart the radiation. He took "Cold War-era iodide tablets," which made his tongue tingle and left him with a rash. He decided to ignore statistics or official statements in favor of his observations, his conversations with survivors, his impressions: a kind of overview. "The stunning capacity of the Japanese official to say absolutely nothing," he writes, "is matched only by the absurd degree of trust that his public places in him."
  • Cracker crackles with alt-rock and country grooves

    The distance between Berkeley and Bakersfield, Calif., is 276.4 miles. For David Lowery, the two places have been so influential for his band that Cracker recently stretched its new music into a two-CD set titled "Berkeley to Bakersfield." The first...

    Book calendar events for the week of March 13, 2011

    Words & Ideas Compiled by Grace Krilanovich. SUNDAY 826LA Adult Writing Seminar Series: TV Writing: A series of panel discussions featuring industry professionals will cover multiple aspects of writing for television. Panelists include Emily Cutler,...

    Enlisting novelists to rewrite Shakespeare: A losing proposition?

    Enlisting novelists to rewrite Shakespeare: A losing proposition?
    Shakespeare’s plays will become contemporary novels, as the transatlantic Hogarth Press, an imprint of Random House, has announced it is commissioning prominent writers to adapt the Elizabethan plays.¬† So far, the Guardian reports, Anne Tyler...

    McSweeney's publishing archive acquired by Austin's Ransom Center

    McSweeney's publishing archive acquired by Austin's Ransom Center
    For 15 years, Dave Eggers' McSweeney's publishing enterprise has helped readers discover all things cool and quirky. On Wednesday, the Harry Ransom Center, the humanities library at the University of Texas, announced that it has acquired the archive of...