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. 


“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.


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.


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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