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How Your Book About Books Gets Made: Boris Kachka Tells All About "Hothouse"

In Benjamin Anastas’s 2012 memoir, Too Good to Be True, he writes of how he viewed Farrar, Straus and Giroux when he was an unpublished writer "prone to bouts of romantic longing": "It was not just a publisher in my eyes. It was more like the Promised Land." A poet who had caught a glimpse of the office had once told him on a fire escape in Queens, "National Book Awards? They paper the fucking place. It’s like a shrine in there. You whisper." READ MORE

Who Will Be the Wrongest Pundit of Them All?

You have until midnight tonight to get in your bets for The Awl 2012 Electoral College Pool. WHO WILL WIN? Maybe Mitt Romney. Maybe you! Maybe both you and Mitt Romney. READ MORE

The Murders And The Journalists

Produced in partnership with Tumblr Storyboard. Illustrations by Tully Mills. READ MORE

Saul Bellow And The Malevolent Friend

When Saul Bellow got an invitation to rejoin the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1958, he and his second wife, Sondra, were ready for a change of scene from their Hudson Valley house (“could use TLC”), and they needed the income too. Although Bellow had already won his first National Book Award with The Adventures of Augie March, he followed in a long line of writers who discovered that you could be famous without having money. READ MORE

The Architect, The "It” Girl And The Toy Pistol That Wasn't

One warm June night in 1906, Albert Payson Terhune could be found engaged in battle for a telephone booth in the old Madison Square Garden while wearing a tuxedo. He had forcibly removed a man mid-conversation, and now, as he shouted into the phone, he kicked out a leg and swung his free arm to fend off the displaced caller and another man wielding a chair. Moments before and one floor above, Terhune, filling in as a drama critic for the New York Evening World, had been a witness to the crime of the century, and he was calling in the scoop. READ MORE

Larry David's Rough Night Out With The Aging Literary Lion

A column that resurrects the highbrow gossip of yore. READ MORE

The Cordial Enmity Of Joan Didion And Pauline Kael

A column that resurrects the highbrow gossip of yore. READ MORE

The Shocking True Tale Of The Mad Genius Who Invented Sea-Monkeys

"Sea-Monkeys, do monkeys / Story of my life / Send three bucks to a comic book / Get a house, car and wife"—Liz Phair, “Gunshy" READ MORE

The Strange, Great History Of Norman Mailer's $2.5 Million Penthouse

The bad boys who gave much of 20th century American literature its “muscular, glamorous aura,” as one of their daughters, Alexandra Styron, puts it, are beginning to fade from view. So it's worth sitting up to take note of the fact that the Brooklyn lair of the one you might call the lion king, Norman Mailer, is up for sale. Following the death of his widow, Norris Church Mailer, the nine Mailer children are listing the top-floor apartment at 142 Columbia Heights for $2.5 million. The broker, Dolores Grant of Corcoran, tells the Times that the place does not lend itself to easy comparisons, and perhaps she speaks more truth than she knows. READ MORE

The Most Flagrantly Tactless First-Rate Brooklyn Novelist

You know when you’re in a panel discussion in New York and the topic turns to gentrification, and the audience gets very quiet while everyone prays there won’t be some guy who stands up and says something excruciating? L. J. Davis was that guy. READ MORE