Weekly Wire

July 21 - July 28, 1997

Cryptic Messages
Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon. [2]
Blake de Pastino

Native Treasure
UA Professor N. Scott Momaday surely ranks among the best of America's living writers, as this new collection of short pieces proves. [3]
Emil Franzi

Out And About
Despite its many flaws, "Escape From America," a guidebook for U.S. Expatriates, has some useful information. [4]
Steve Neely

Of Mercy and Mississippi
Reviews of Kathleen Cambor's The Book of Mercy, Matt Wray and Annalee Newitz's White Trash: Race and Class in America, and Anthony Walton's Mississippi: An American Journey. [5]
Robin Bradford and Jay Hardwig

1997 Short Story Contest Winners
Five winning stories -- and 9 runners-up -- in the Austin Chronicle's sixth annual short story contest. [6]

In Person
Jennifer Harbury, author of Searching for Everardo: A Story of Love, War, and the CIA in Guatemala is coming to Austin's BookPeople on Saturday, July 19. [7]
Kate X Messer

Speed Reader
Reviews of Few and Far Between, Exile, Drown, and Ripening. [8]

Now What?
A Web link page chock full of resources, recommendations, and staff picks pertaining to the subject of this section. [9]

Talk Back
Our online BBS is just like the Algonquin Round Table, only electronic, sober, and without all the famous people.


o many books, so little digestive tract. The sad fact about consuming the written word is that I can only take in so much before becoming bloated. A good book requires a commitment to maintaining a steady intake and chewing up the words at least 32 times per bite (if you have teeth). That's why I'll be taking my time dining on Mason & Dixon, the new 800-page work from the enigmatic Thomas Pynchon. Cryptic, postmodern and ambitious, this is no fast-food novel. Which is good, because McNovels give me indigestion.

Also tasty-looking is N. Scott Momaday's new book the Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages. First off, it's clothbound. Mmm. More important, Momaday has been known for mouth-watering prose ever since the Native American's novel House Made of Dawn won a Pulitzer Prize in 1968. You can read a review if you like. Also good, for a light snack anyway, are these short-story winners from Austin, Texas. No digestive trouble there.

Here's some other reviews for the text-hungry like myself:

From The Vaults

Media Mix
View Camera magazine has a thing or two to teach us about the pursuit of excellence. [06-20-97]

Media Mix
From Salon de RefusÚs to Salon de CÚlebration...And more! [06-13-97]

Machine Dreams
Artists Explore Our Love-Hate For All Things Mechanical. [06-06-97]
Jeffrey Lee

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