1977 -- The Spectator Bird

For years I have wondered why no western writer has been able to make a continuity between the past and the present, why so many are sunk in the mythic twilight of the horse opera, why the various Wests seem to have produced no culture or literature comparable to those of New England, the South and the Midwest, why no westerner had managed to do for this territory what Faulkner did for Yoknapatawpha County.

—Wallace Stegner (“The West”)

“The Dean of Western Writers” took up his own challenge, the results still debated. While his western books earned him high praise in the west, the eastern critics often dismissed Stegner as merely a regionalist — or just ignored him altogether, the New York Review of Books having no comment whatsoever on his Pulitzer-winner, Angle of Repose, or his NBA-winner. Ironically, The Spectator Bird, set mostly in Denmark, is not one of Stegner’s western books; and doubly ironically, while the eastern critics ignored the book as if it was, many western critics complained that it wasn’t, and that Stegner had abandoned his true landscape and his own mandate.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.