Op Ed: The Wheelbarrows of Violence

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The Wheelbarrows of Violence After missing a 7:15am train on my way upstate last Saturday, I was talking to a homeless guy outside Penn Station while doing my best to enjoy a post-failure cigarette, knowing that I’d have to wait another two hours for the next departure. It had been a relatively crappy day for [….]

LitStaff Rec: Munro and Pullman

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In case you missed it, last week Canadian author Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and as many news outlets noted, Twitter was positively brimming with good cheer, as writers everywhere celebrated the well-deserved recognition of the writer Canadians call “our Chekhov.” The short story has few practitioners as skilled as Munro, now [….]

Digressions on Liner Notes: Richie Havens’ Stonehenge

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Digressions on Liner Notes: Richie Havens’ Stonehenge (1970)  (Before I start, I should say that this is a new thing I’m doing. The final Tuesday of each month will from now on be devoted to my hopefully interesting and potentially annoying musings on those brief essays or pithy statements commonly known as liner notes, or [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe: The Best Of, In My Humble Opinion

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It’s all the rage at this time to come out with massive amounts of “Best Of” or “Top” of the Year lists.  Best Albums of the Year, Best Movies of the Year, Top New Stories of the Year, Best Moments on the Web, Top Newsmakers, Person of the Year… I’m a sucker for these.  Even [….]

LitStaff Pick: The Best Books We Read This Year

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We have a love affair with books. That’s an obvious, blanket statement, true, but it bears repeating. We don’t write reviews, conduct giveaways or chat with our favorite writers because we’re bored. We don’t do this simply because we love getting free books. (Though, let’s be honest, that is a high motivator). We do all [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe: Whence Cometh My Help

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I would love to write a novel.  Not (necessarily) the Next Great American Novel, but something substantial, something tangible, something I can hold in my hands and say, “This is mine!”, something of which I can be selfish and proud.  A short story would work, too, or a novella, but A Novel is the pinnacle [….]