Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Barbara Epstein, co-editor of the New York Review of Books, has died. [LA Times]

Robert Birnbaum interviews Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and staff writer at the New Yorker. She talks about the increasing challenge of pitching more offbeat, non-celebrity-centred ideas to magazine editors...though I'm guessing she has it a lot easier than most writers. Then again, if she finds it tough, what hope for the rest of us? [Identity Theory]

Speaking of the New Yorker, there's a blog all about/obsessed with it, which has somehow recruited two anonymous staffers from the New Yorker to answer readers' questions (pre-vetted by the blog, of course) about the magazine. Unsurprisingly, Gawker and some of its readers already have a couple of suggestions:

-Are rejected submissions used as toilet paper?
- How do fact-checkers not kill themselves?
-Are all of your cartoonists bitter divorcees?
-Is it a prerequisite of publication that a short story be mind-numbingly boring and/or have characters who I don't really care about whose names I can't pronounce?
-Must all short fiction submissions end abruptly, sans denouement?

The Middle Eastern edition of Elle will hit newsstands in Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco this Friday. A second, more conservative version of the Lebanese publication will hit Saudi Arabia in October. Along with shoots heavy on accessories and beauty products rather than on clothes, the first issue will feature an article on The Vagina Monologues- which uses synonyms for 'vagina', rather than the word itself, throughout. Challenging. Will Orlean be pitching? [Wall Street Journal]

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