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Where have you gone, J.D. Salinger?

Salinger1


It's been nearly two years since J.D. Salinger died (Jan. 27, 2010), and we still don't know what he was writing, if anything, for the last 40 years of his life.  Salinger biographer Kenneth Slawenski tries to read the tea leaves in this piece for Salon.com.   I'm hoping for a huge cache of new Salinger material to be released in 2012, but in the meantime, you'll find me happily reading "For Esme -- With Love and Squalor" one more time.

On the related topic of fiction by authors who are still alive, here's the smartest thing I've read all week: the "Riff" from the New York Times Magazine last Sunday that poses the question "Why Write Novels at All?"

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The talented Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards had a nice spot on Letterman Tuesday night, featuring a song from her new album, "Voyageur."  See the video below, and be sure to catch her funny exchange with Dave at the end.  Edwards will play gigs in Hamilton and Toronto next month.  There are no immediate plans for a Buffalo show, although she does have a soft spot in her heart for our city, as she's made clear in her performances here.  Edwards even has a song called "Buffalo," with lyrics about crossing the border in a snowstorm accompanied by almost-enough Genny Cream Ale. 




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News Reporter Steve Watson had an interesting reaction to the SulliView blog of Monday ("What's wrong with a good curse, now and then?") on the use of expletives and other questionable language in the newspaper.  It turns out that he's made an informal study of this topic and shared this, among other, observations in an email to me today:  "Regarding the N-word, I can’t even bring myself to write it here. (The actual word) has appeared in the paper 25 times since late 2001, never in an article in the City & Region section. Mostly Leonard Pitts columns or reviews of books that have the word in the title or the text, along with one Rod Watson column. Sometimes we have a mixed policy even within the same piece. One columnist used the word when referring to the book that had the word in the title, but used “n-word” in the rest of the column. That was in 2006. In 2011, it was used three times in a features commentary by one of our columnists."   I'm not sure what this proves, except that we do make these decisions on a case-by-case basis.  Steve would like to see a more consistent policy, and I've told him that I'll get right on that.

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