Critical Linking: May 15, 2012

The immediate question is whether Sedaris’s stories are, strictly speaking, true — an important consideration for journalistic organizations such as NPR and programs such as “This American Life.” A secondary consideration is what, if any, kind of disclosure such programs owe their listeners when broadcasting Sedaris’s brand of humor.

Not at all surprised by this. I think if NPR took a hard look at its more essayistic contributors, they would find this is the rule rather than the exception. Probably true from some other well-known essayists as well. Nothing new of course, just unconsidered recently.


The push for more material comes as publishers and booksellers are desperately looking for ways to hold onto readers being lured by other forms of entertainment, much of it available nonstop and almost instantaneously. Television shows are rushed online only hours after they are originally broadcast, and some movies are offered on demand at home before they have left theaters. In this environment, publishers say, producing one a book a year, and nothing else, is just not enough.

We need you to write more‘ and ‘You should write more’ are two quite different things, I think.


The 500 dyslexic students participating nationwide ranged from Maryland to Hawaii. They read in front of classmates and relatives to raise awareness about the disease, as well as encourage others to read.

Gotta love it.


Patterson has never made a secret that some of his books have been co-written – he says that he works 350 days a year and that his head bubbles with so many ideas that it makes sense to get help. The names of his “ghosts” appear as joint author on several of his covers. Commonly, he will write a 30-page outline, get his co-author to write a first draft and then they will finish it together.

The phrase “I never made it a secret” belies some knowledge of moral ambiguity, no?


Sign up for "Today in Books" and stay up to date with the most interesting news in the world of books and reading!
We have a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card to give away! Go here to enter, or just click the snazzy image below. Good luck!