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William T. Vollmann

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  • Ghosts soar in William Vollmann's hefty 'Last Stories'

    Ghosts soar in William Vollmann's hefty 'Last Stories'
    It has been a season of giants in the arts. In New York, Jeff Koons' "Split-Rocker," a 37-foot-tall foliage sculpture of a rocking horse made up of 50,000 flowering plants, has given Kara Walker's sphinx, a 35-foot-tall sculpture made of an estimated 40 tons of sugar, a real run for endless Instagram opportunities. Meanwhile, in the literary world Karl Ove Knausgaard has hooked readers all over the world not so much in spite of but because of the immensity — 3,600 pages and six volumes — of "My Struggle."
  • The Millions looks at the year ahead in books

    The Millions looks at the year ahead in books
    The year 2014 is a banner one for big readers. That's according to the readers at the Millions, whose editors have compiled a list of the books they're looking forward to -- 89 titles in all. Think about that for a moment: 89 titles. I bet you didn't...

    Why are writers being curbed by NSA surveillance?

    PEN American Center’s report “Chilling Effects,” officially released Tuesday morning, offers some disturbing data about the effect of government surveillance on free expression and self-censorship in the literary world. Of more than...

    Some notes on the National Book Awards

    On Wednesday night, the National Book Awards were presented at a black-tie dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan. “The Oscars of the Book World,” host Mika Brzezinski called it, although, as Fran Lebowitz once sniffed, “It’...

    The great American novel? What's that?

    The great American novel? What's that?
    Can we finally get beyond the Great American Novel? It’s the fantasy of an earlier America, like Manifest Destiny. And yet, to read Harvard professor Lawrence Buell’s “American Literature’s Holy Grail: Franzen, DFW and the Hunt for...