Super Hilarious Book Trailer

This past March, I was lucky enough to see the novelists Téa Obreht and Gary Shteyngart read as part of Inprint’s Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Before the night of the reading, I stumbled upon this hilarious “book trailer” promoting Super Sad True Love Story, Shteyngart’s latest novel. It’s shot in great mock-umentary style. The running joke of the trailer is that, despite his literary success, Shteyngart remains completely illiterate, barely even possessing the ability to speak. As Jeffrey Eugenides says in the video, “Gary has managed to escape the anxiety of influence by the sheer fact that he has never read a word.” Mary Gaitskill, Jay McInerney, Edmund White, and James Franco also appear. Enjoy.

Edward S. Garza

PS: I particularly enjoy the “were-bears” moment at about 2:40.


Defending Cursive

Writing for The New Yorker’s literary blog “Page-Turner” this past Thursday, Judith Thurman makes a case for maintaining the teaching of cursive. A biographer and literary critic, Thurman asserts that, while a “knowledge of cursive may not be ‘relevant’ to the modern world,…it is essential to a visceral sense of the past, and an ability to examine the literature, correspondence, and history contained in original documents.” She goes on to discuss the colorful Timothy Matlack, the man who many historians say “engrossed” — that is, prepared the printed text of — the Declaration of Independence.

Whether you’re reading it as a history buff or a typographical warrior, Thurman’s essay is fun and worth your time. You’ll find it at this URL:

Edward S. Garza

Happy Fourth of July from Claude McKay and Us

Happy Fourth of July from The Aletheia

In the spirit of Independence Day, here is some piercingly American verse from the great Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay. It is a sonnet titled, of course, “America.” Enjoy.

Edward S. Garza


by Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.