1. At The Story Prize blog, Alyson Hagy talks about the inspiration and perspiration which went into her excellent short story collection Ghosts of Wyoming (which I read--and loved!--earlier this year): What book or books made you want to become a writer? Honest answer: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor....O’Connor knew how to make literature out of the contradictions, passions, and hypocrisies of the rural South. Better yet, she knew how to record the way rural folk talk. My first reading of O’Connor came into me via my ears and my belly more than through my eyes.
2. The Guardian sent a reporter to interview the reclusive Harper Lee (whose To Kill a Mockingbird is celebrating its 50th birthday this year). The Guardian devoted 2,217 words to the "interview." It turned out to be a drumroll-fanfare-trumpet blast for the tiniest poof of farts. Herewith is the entire conversation reporter Sharon Churcher eked out of Ms. Lee: