For the second time this school year, Mother Nature has gifted me a snow day on New Yorker day. Usually, I have to sneak a few minutes here and there on Mondays to catch the week's offerings from one of my favorite magazines, but not today. Cleaned and shopped yesterday, and the husband is out front shoveling through the winter wonderland (thank you liberal leave policy). Opened the back door very quickly to snap the photo above. And now, I am in my jammies reading through this:
The news that David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel will be published this year popped up here and there and everywhere this weekend. This issue of the New Yorker contains a feature article on the author of Infinite Jest and other memorable works, and features an excerpt from the soon to be published Wiggle Room.
This issue also has an article on John Cheever by John Updike. Yes, you read that correctly. I had to double check to make sure it was not a re-run of an archived article. The occasion for the piece is the release next week of a new Cheever biography by Blake Bailey. I read Scott Donaldson's Cheever bio in the late 80s, and can't wait to slip into this one as well. Cheever short stories are among my favorites, and his personal story is one of the few lines of author biographical material that actually cast light on the body of work. For me at least. The posing is so awkward and painful at times in the fiction, and we see that reflected in Cheever's personal life as well.
Finally, I find myself with the free time today to finish The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, a book I am really enjoying. It is funny to me to be finishing it today on John Irving's birthday as there is so much here that reminds me of his writing - the motherless children, the improbable but powerful omniscient narration, the quirkiness. So glad to have this book today as I have to wait until October for the new Irving, a tale the author revealed is about how violence begets violence, a recurring theme in American life and literature.