Morning Links

Robert Birnbaum talks with Chip Kidd about:

commercial art, his work at Knopf, the nature of the cover design problem, John Updike, artists’ monographs (including his own), graphic novels, his burden as a novelist, Stanley Milgram’s landmark psych experiment, ballroom dancing, being big in Japan, his middle initial, and lots of witty, brainy, and urbane stuff.

For previous talks with Kidd see here and here.

Who is Chip Kidd? Here is Birnbaum’s description:

variously and arguably credited with revolutionizing book cover design (a claim which, if creditable, he will point out, applies more to the entire Knopf design department under the direction of Carole Carson Devine), is a lad of many parts. As has been acknowledged previously, he is a published novelist (The Cheese Monkeys), superhero and comic book devotee, book editor (Pantheon’s graphic novels), tschotkes collector, New York bon vivant, and well-traveled and frequent speaker to the global graphic design community—to speak with the voluble Chipster is to engage in a joyful and far-flung cultural conversation.

– Kate O’Beirne’s new book, Women Who Make the World Worse, has been generating some buzz of late (just read some of the Amazon reviews). Melanie Kirkpatrick has a review in the Wall Street Journal:

Kate O’Beirne is ill-served by the lurid cover of her new book, which features unflattering caricatures of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, Jane Fonda and Sarah Jessica Parker (a k a Carrie Bradshaw of “Sex and the City”). The Ann Coulter-ish title–“Women Who Make the World Worse”–is almost as off-putting. Uh-oh, is this going to be another one of those right-wing rants?

Happily, it is anything but. Mrs. O’Beirne’s book is a serious examination of 30-plus years of feminist folly and the conservative counter-approach. And while the National Review columnist and TV commentator is not shy about saying what she thinks, the only rants that appear in her pages here are those she quotes from some well-known feminist icons.

In fact, one of the most striking features of “Women Who Make the World Worse” is its “I can’t believe she said that” quality. Mrs. O’Beirne informs her chapters on the family, day care, education, politics, the military and sports with a review of the radical feminist dogma on her subject. Anyone still operating under the delusion that “feminist” is synonymous with “pro-woman” should find this a useful reality check.

Ed Champion informs us that:

Show #18 of The Bat Segundo Show, a literary podcast featuring interviews with today’s contemporary writers, is now up.” This particular show includes a dramatized explanation for why Mr. Segundo has developed into such an unfortunate man.

The latest show runs 39 minutes and 49 seconds long and features Chris Elliott. Amazingly, he agreed to talk with our Young, Roving Correspondent, despite the fact that our YRC was operating on about 90 minutes of sleep.

Check out The Bat Segundo Show here

– I missed this Jonathan Yardley review of The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin last week, but it certainly makes me want to read the book:

Olga Grushin’s extraordinary first novel is so wise and mature that it is tempting to suspect the author’s biography is a joke. The Dream Life of Sukhanov is sophisticated, ironic and witty, multilayered, intricately constructed, deeply informed, elegantly written — the work, one would think, of someone who has been writing and publishing fiction for years, not someone who is doing it for the first time, and doing it in what is not her native language.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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