a little USSR in 14th St Union Sq

Russian Constructivism, brought to you by the MTA.

Wole Soyinka and Helen Oyeyemi

Wole Soyinka is interviewed by Helen Oyeyemi in The London Telegraph

You've probably heard of Soyinka, but Oyeyemi is a clever young thing. Born in '84, she wrote her first novel, The Icarus Girl, at Cambridge. The novel was a dark coming of age story, with a stunning US cover. We'll have to see about her next work, The Opposite House...

Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje is lovely

[Excerpt TK...]

The author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost has given the world another gem.

Like Slouka's book (see below) Ondaatje's new novel is really three interconnected novellas which, in their relationship and contradictions, make timeless questions about identity and narrative, the real and the fabricated, seem new again.

one stop shopping for a plentitude of summer festivals

The New York Times had a nice synopsis of the many arts festivals going on this summer.

Martha Rosler, artist, donates her library to you

But wait, when does it journey back to NYC?


This Random Act of Kindness brought to us by Sameer.


An excerpt from Mark Slouka's latest novel, published this spring:

When I was a boy we lived in a fifteenth-floor apartment in Queens, like an aerie above the world, and at night my father would read to me from a thick yellow volume of Czech fairy tales. In the book was…a picture of a beautiful girl in a dark forest. She had thin arms and she wore a white dress like one of my mother’s scarves. She was leaning back against the trunk of a huge, mossed tree as though trying to protect it, a hunter’s arrow buried deep in her breast. I would look at that picture when I was alone. At the thin fingers of her left hand splayed like a starfish, grasping the bark.…There was a look on her face, caught between the strands of black, blowing hair, that I found shameful and disturbing and mysterious.
I could never look at it for long. A look of shock, of course. And pain, yes. But something else, something I could not understand then—can barely understand now. A look of pleading, of utter renunciation, of love. Of love beyond all song andargument.

No one could tell you about my father without first telling you
something about her. …

For twenty-six years, Antonín Sedlák was like every other
mother’s son in the city of Brno, Czechoslovakia—four rows up,
three over—running his own particular course to the sea. Then
he ran into her, and nothing was ever the same for him again.
What can I say about my father that isn’t bent out of truth by
hindsight, misshapen by love? My father was a good and decent
man, I think, a man capable of outrage over the world he happened
to have found himself in, but someone whose faith in reason,
like some men’s faith in God or love, remained intact long after his life had made it ridiculous… Everything that he accomplished in his life was a violence against that almost-smile. Against its generosity, its good-humored reasonableness and decency. Against his very nature. And that, too, the smile seems to anticipate, and accept for the irony it is.

Mark Slouka on NPR


go here. read. listen.

it's spring in new york, and all of a sudden there are three readings to attend every night, not to mention the PEN festival, which just wrapped up.

for direction, go to:

also, see her links page.



etc., etc.


the surprise gem of the last few weeks was hearing jeff rotter read from his novel at KGB. Rotter is wry, and I hope he keeps us apprised of his work: http://www.kgbbar.com/calendar/event/2007-04-26_hunter_college_.html


at 192 BOOKS, Calvin Trillin will be reading Studs Terkel (5/16) and Miranda July will be reading around the corner, in a good sized space at the paula cooper gallery (5/22).



the tram, the view

the staten island ferry is swell, but if you want to soar over manhattan on your metrocard, take the roosevelt island tram.