Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Questions About Book Reviewing

ANOTHER STRIKING NEW POP LIT INTERVIEW

Our task at NEW POP LIT is to cover literary issues in a way no one else will cover them. We try to look behind the facade of the acceptable narratives to present you what’s really happening, and what individuals within the book community really think.

See, for instance, our interview with Daily Beast book reviewer Tom LeClair: http://newpoplit.com/2015/08/31/leclair-on-franzen/

LeClair is as outspoken as any book critic can be—calling out “middlebrow cheerleader(s)” who engage in “critical irresponsibility.”

Surely “Big 5” publishing has something of a symbiotic relationship with lit-establishment organizations, publications, and writers. To what extent does this influence the nature of book reviews? Especially when the novel being reviewed is as heavily promoted as is Purity by Jonathan Franzen?

These are questions which need to be asked and answered.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Against the Establishment

Why has the American public embraced political candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? It shows a rejection of the “business-as-usual” status quo political establishment.

The same phenomenon should be taking place in the world of literature, which badly needs a shakeup and shakeout.

Ever look at yahoo news or other online information sources? Entire staffs of editors are assigned to cover movies, music, and sports. Almost NO ONE covers the book world, which as a topic of interest has disappeared. Big-selling authors are out there, the likes of George R.R. Martin. (Or even lit-establishment novelist Jonathan Franzen.) They have ZERO personality—and in truth aren’t very good writers. There’s little reason to cover them.

This tells me that the publishing establishment anchored in New York City and their well-trained p.r. mavens have been failures. They’re doing everything wrong.

We at NEW POP LIT are confident or naive enough to believe we can do better.

In  contrast to the “go-along-to-get-along” weasels of establishment politics, actual human beings like Sanders and Trump are a welcome difference.

It’s also time to move on from the conformists of establishment literature.

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(See NEW POP LIT’s report on the new Jonathan Franzen novel, here.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Looking for Writing Talent

As editor at NEW POP LIT (www.newpoplit.com) I’m not getting enough submissions of short fiction which try to hit what I’m truly after. Any story is a mix of elements. Plot; character; description; literary style. I’m looking for a completely different mix of elements—stories which are as stripped-down as a Raymond Carver story but with a whole hell of a lot more color and plot.

We want to hit the unwary reader right from the get-go: boom, boom, boom. Get the reader immediately into the story. Short paragraphs. Immediate action. Then, as the fast pace progresses, reveal character and meaning, much of which by necessity will be implied or between the lines.

I want to present stories which can be handed to ANYONE and be appreciated and liked. The days of an isolated literary clique writing for themselves should be OVER. Kill that period. Reinvent the art form. Create unparalleled excitement. Experiment and experiment with the elements until you produce something that rocks.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

About New Publishing

WRITERS and other literary folk need to step back and adopt a historical perspective about where literature and publishing are headed. In the universe, though there are overarching truths, change is a constant. Publishing is in the midst of drastic change. The goal of NEW POP LIT is to gain a position from which to participate in that change. We have enough time to put together the right kind of vehicle to drive through the current and approaching noise and chaos of where the culture is now.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Interview with a New Yorker Writer

How are things in the world of New York City “Big Five” conglomerate publishing?

We at NEW POP LIT took a break from creating an alternative long enough to interview John Colapinto, staff writer at The New Yorker. What he has to say about his own difficulties is revealing. You’ll not read a stronger interview anywhere.

See http://newpoplit.com/2015/07/22/exclusive-john-colapinto-interview/

Read the story and interview—then let us know what you think.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Celebrate Baseball!

Yes, at the various NEW POP LIT entities we’re running an entire week of baseball celebration.

We begin with the new lead story at our main site, by Tom Tolnay, "Baseball Is Truth, Truth Is Baseball"

Next, we’re running a poll at our Detroit Literary blog, asking which was the best Detroit Tigers baseball team of all time? The choices given are the city’s four world championship campaigns. See

http://detroitliterary.blogspot.com/2015/07/new-pop-lit-celebrates-baseball.html

Finally, for hard-core baseball readers, here’s a link to info about an essay about the great American game which I wrote for North American Review way back in 1994, during the infamous baseball strike. The essay is titled, “The Last Day of Baseball.”

http://www.jstor.org/stable/25125837?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Not the last day of baseball after all, it turned out—which allows us to engage in this 2015 celebration.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Enter Jessie Lynn McMains

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Here’s a photo of then-underground writer Jessie Lynn McMains reading at an event I staged in Philadelphia way back in 2007. No longer underground? We’ll see. Jessie is a phenomenally talented writer, and has what may be the best story in the upcoming NEW POP LIT Issue One, aka The Print Version. This, in a collection of good stories.

Sneak Preview copies of NEW POP LIT Issue One WILL be available at NPL’s table at the big Allied Media Conference starting in Detroit in one week! (Register for the AMC today!)
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(Also see NEW POP LIT's kickass interview with Jessie at NPL's house blog: https://newpoplitinteractive.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/interview-with-jessie-lynn-mcmains/)