Beasts, Lies, and the Nobel Prize

Aimee Bender on romance and beauty and beasts.

John Barber interviewed Zadie Smith, and then wrote a weirdly confrontational piece for The Globe about it. As a reader I'm devastated to hear that she may just pass on another novel. But then, to borrow from Garth Risk Hallberg's excellent NYT Mag essay from earlier this year, why would she, or anyone else, for that matter, write novels at all?

Some lies writers tell themselves, courtesy of Alexander Chee.

Congratulations are in order for Mo Yan, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for literature. He's not Margaret Atwood, or Bob Dylan, but Mo Yan is one of China's most beloved—and oft-banned—writers. He is not at all obscure, so hopefully North American media will be able to keep their flabbers ungasted. The New Yorker ran two appreciative blog posts, revisiting both John Updike's review one of Mo Yan's novels and the film version of another.

Photo by bluelephant