* Jonathan Mahler's New York Times Magazine cover story from two weeks back on James Patterson's endless, bestselling, fiction output? I genuinely loved this story and recommend it to all of us who muse on popular fiction vs. literary fiction. Galleycat has a podcast with the story's author.
*Claire Messud explains why she curated an issue of Guernica devoted to women writers,
Not because they're women, but because they are writers whose work thrills and surprises me. And because, simply on account of their gender, they are too often overlooked by the silly popularity contests that are juries and boards and lists. This is not a question of the writers' quality but of our society's habits, and of a habitual--and primarily lazy--cultural expectation that male writers are somehow more serious, more literary, or more interesting."(Claire Messud, you are cooler than I thought. Mea Culpa!)
*Dani Shapiro on how depressingly commercial you have to be to make it as a writer, how just practicing the craft for a select group of readers is not enough anymore. Depressing, but an interesting take for those of us she's writing about.