Monthly Archives: September, 2011


As a tyro, I’m obsessed with all the trappings of authorship, even Amazon rankings. And so I was depressed that AOJ had sunk to

Rio Liang’s review

“I was quite fascinated…quite  entertaining…most interesting….surprisingly funny…showcasing a man whose various–often strongly worded–views on art, literature, and life combine to define a singular editor.” This review appeared in Ruelle Electrique in August, but has just now crossed our desk. P.S.: the portrait Liang slugs in is of the editor Felix Feneon, by Felix Vallotton—I discuss [...]

Hals of Shame

Imagine my surprise when browsing Peter C. Sutton’s 1986 Dutch Art in America to find, in his survey of the Legion of Honor: Once attributed to Frans Hals and hailed as a masterpiece, the dashing Portrait of a Man in White [you must plug in the name "Hals" to bring up the image] is now [...]

Today’s Pop-up Tour

Today’s pop-up, site-specific book tour began at 12:30 at Browser Books; the plan was to revisit the route described in the opening chapter, “Slice of Life,” a real, closely annotated day in the life, in order to make sure that the reader, who had been alerted by the three epigraphs to expect the frustrations of [...]

Culture Feed on Pop-up readings

Andy Wright of the Bay Citizen chatted with me about my pop-up reading series:

Fan Appreciation Day

Lunched yesterday at Hobee’s, which the new Vanity Fair describes, in its “Silicon Valley Exposed” sidebar, as a “sachet-scented restaurant famous for its coffee cake and for being frequented by Mark Andreessen.” My host was Harry Press, 92,

Pop-up readings, day four

On the way to pick up my noble publisher Brooks Roddan at Peet’s in Laurel Village yesterday, I accosted Candace at a bus stop. She asked  me to read something

Saturday night

Babylon Salon, at Cantina SF, 580 Sutter St., 7 pm., was heralded by an A-frame sign, in the manner of the pop-up,

Pop-up readings, day three

After another late start, arrived at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market at one. Too hungry to read pieces denouncing foodeism. Had chicken salad sandwich on green

Pop-up readings, day two

I was a little slow to get started—what was I really going to do? was it really worth it?—but I finally got my act together and, after finding no one I could approach at the Laurel Village Starbucks or Noah’s (I have a good bagel rant)…I went on to Peet’s and told Jeff, who was [...]

Pop-up readings

I began my campaign of pop-up readings yesterday. The first was on College Ave., in Berkeley, in a clothing store that had a window devoted to Audrey Hepburn. I read the clerk my piece about

Leah: Pass/Fail?

In today’s SF Chronicle, Leah Garchik’s column: Howard Junker’s new book, a collection of blog entries, is “An Old Junker.” Junker, founder and former editor of the literary journal Zyzzyva, is regarded by many – well, let’s say by me – as a person who holds strong opinions. Hoping to mention the book, and having [...]

Ave atque Vale

What a pleasant surprise to see, in the midst of all the tschotskes of this weekend’s SF Zinefest,

Amazing Amazon

It is discouraging that An Old Junker, cover price $10, is offered by one vendor on Amazon new for $4.45; however, it is encouraging that another vendor asks for $48.87 new, and another for $55.29.

9/1/11: Atta

In Atta, a brilliant novella just published by semiotext(e), Jarett Kobek channels Mohamed Atta, ringleader of 9/11, looking back on his life. “This also is my story,” thinks Mohamed Atta, “I too am an immigrant success.” Kobek’s tour de force, his writing-within-the-constraints, is not just a compelling version of the terrorist mindset, it is also [...]