Jonathan Safran Foer was sitting at a Chipotle one day, when he realized that he had nothing to do while noshing on his burrito. He had neglected to bring a book or magazine, and he didn't yet own a smartphone. "I really just wanted to die with frustration," Foer told VF Daily.Suddenly, the Eating Animals author (and vegetarian) had an idea: What if there were something truly good to read on his Chipotle cup? Or the bag? A few years earlier, he had met Steve Ells, Chipotle's C.E.O.
The National Book Foundation presents the 2013 National Book Award Finalists in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People's Literature.
The Internet may be disrupting much of the book industry, but for short-story writers it has been a good thing.
Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well.
Already, 2013 has yielded an unusually rich crop of short-story collections, including George Saunders’s “Tenth of December,” which arrived in January with a media splash normally reserved for Hollywood movies and moved quickly onto the best-seller lists.
Andy Ward has edited George Saunders’ writing since 2005, first at GQ, and now at Random House. On the occasion of Saunders’ new collection, Tenth of December, Ward and Saunders emailed each other about writing, editing, outtakes, and how over and over again The Novel becomes a story.
Ward: Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s a story in this here collection, “Semplica Girl Diaries,” that you started in 1998 and finished in September of 2012, 14 years later.
Saunders: Yes, and thanks for bringing up that painful subject.