Gary Shteyngart review

My review of Gary Shteyngart's Little Failure is live at Bookmunch.

Susan Minot review

My review of Susan Minot's Thirty Girls is live at Bookmunch.

time (and the lack thereof)

So, I signed up to the NYC Short Story Challenge this year and quietly bombed - by which I mean I paid the entry fee, got assigned my writing challenge (a 2,500 word story, science-fiction, with the theme 'home security' and starring a butler), managed in a week to write only 250 words and (obviously) didn't submit anything for the deadline last weekend. Waste of money, eh? 

Well. I don't know. It did remind me not to be an utter moron and remember that I can't fit All The Things In. This PhD business takes up four days a week, and then there's the copywriting that pays the rent, the book reviews (more occasional these days, but still), my local book club, and, oh, general child-rearing and having a nice time and getting (some rare) sleep. At the moment I'm concentrating on the critical side of my PhD - the academic dissertation that accompanies my creative work - and so I have three conference papers so sort out, plus the actual thesis chapters, plus the accompanying reading and thinking, and it's all fairly intense. I thought the NYC thing would be a way of doing some fun writing in the meantime, but it just added to the crazy time pressures. Lesson learnt, eh? Good luck to those of you who did enter - may you do a hell of a lot better than me!

In more cheery, if still academic, news, my partner, Andy, recently passed his Fine Art PhD - hardcopy submitted and everything - and my friend Joe passed his Philosophy PhD with ne'er a change to be made. Woop! If any of you are university sorts looking to hire experts on installation practice/institutional critique and social ontology, respectively, I've got a couple going spare.