introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 07, 2005

Let's Hear It For Our Guests

by Ron Hogan

You can tell when a litblog (yes, I know, but we appear to be stuck with it) has really made the scene these days: "Real writers" are dropping by more and more frequently to offer their own thoughts on literature and life. In some recent examples:

  • The Mumpsimus breaks from its science-fiction roots to host Paul Jessup's thoughts on A Complicated Kindness and Torger Vedeler's review of the erotic novella collection Three Kinds of Asking For It.

  • Daniel Olivas, a regular contributor to The Elegant Variation, dropped in to review Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper, a McSweeney's book I've been meaning to read myself lately--and one NYTBR will be getting around to this weekend.

  • Kay Sexton is the latest guest reviewer at MoorishGirl, weighing in on Jonathan Coe's prize-winning biography of experimental writer B. S. Johnson, Like a Fiery Elephant.

  • And Old Hag hands the reins over completely (well, almost completely) to short-story writer Ron tanner.

And it's not really a blog, but I want to mention it anyway: Wu-Tang Clan's RZA takes over the command seat at BoldType to run a spirituality-themed issue that tackles (among others) Umberto Eco, Karen Armstrong, and Osamu Tezuka's comic book biography of Buddha. In an interview with the site's editor, he observers, "I actually collect a lot of books so I can have some common ground with everybody. I get that from coming up in New York where you get all types of people walking around. Books are a common denominator with everyone." (For more of RZA's insights, you can check out The Wu-Tang Manual, which I think must have set some sort of record in last weekend's NYTBR by being reviewed nine months after its release last fall.)

Oh, and while I'm at it, Ken Foster's taking a spin at the Mississippi Review. "I'm still reading and finding amazing gems to share," he confesses, so the print edition this fall will have even more stories, but there's plenty now to keep you busy until then.

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