Critical Linking: October 5, 2012

 

If “In Sunlight and in Shadow” did not have Mark Helprin’s name plastered on the cover, a reader might surmise that the author was someone desperately trying to imitate Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts.

This is a grenade, to be sure. But the undercard is that Kakutani knows Steel and Roberts well enough to spot an impersonator. 

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“I hate that it’s part of Amazon because I love indie bookstores,” he says. “But there’s only one good way I can get books self-published now. And you know what? They do a great job. The books look good. They ship promptly.”

Jon Clinch, a writer I admire, is going self-pub. This will be the first self-pubbed literary novel I’ll have read. And you should read it too.

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India’s Sikh community has condemned J.K. Rowling’s recent novel, “The Casual Vacancy,” for describing one of the female characters, Sukhvinder, as “mustachioed, yet large-mammaried” and portraying her as a “hairy man-woman.” (Traditionally, followers of the Sikh religion are forbidden from cutting or trimming their hair).

Yikes. -20 points from Gryffindor.

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I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner’s new book, The Story of Ain’t.

Stop the presses! Someone from NPR has a quibble!

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