The novel The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, which is out today, is narrated by the 11-year-old pop star known for such bubblegum hits as "Guys vs. Girls" and "U R Kewt." The novel tracks Jonny, who speaks and thinks in a mash-up of tween grammar and music-industry lingo, on his "Valentine Days" tour across America. As he chafes under the control of his manager-mother, Jane, he attempts to reconnect clandestinely over the Internet with someone claiming to be his long-lost father. (In a review last week in The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani had nice things to say about it.)
In this scene, Jonny has escaped [...]
During Hurricane Irene weekend, while holed up in a friend’s apartment and looking for some stimulation, I got friend-requested and emailed by an obvious scammer on Facebook. The con artist, under the name “Claire Anrie,” used a few professional photos of an attractive young woman (whom I later reverse-image-searched and discovered was a personal trainer in New York) and a typo- and contradiction-filled profile.
"Claire" quickly asked me to send her money by Western Union so she could come back to the U.S. and be with me, her "husband." Over the next three months, I kept up an ongoing dialogue via Facebook messages and chat in which I [...]
Teddy Wayne's debut novel, Kapitoil, opens up The 2011 Tournament of Books at The Morning News tomorrow, squaring off against a little-known novel called Freedom by some guy whose name we forget. Kapitoil was named one of Booklist's "Top 10 First Novels of 2010," among other honors, and an excerpt won a 2010 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. Its narrator is Karim Issar, a young, socially awkward computer programmer from Doha, Qatar, who comes to Wall Street in the boom times of 1999 and writes a program that accurately predicts oil futures based on geopolitical news articles. Karim has learned his stilted—though grammatically perfect—English through the worlds of [...]