Walking the halls of The New Yorker, one hears conversations about books trailing out of office doors. Just the other day, two colleagues argued—cordially, but with some heat in their voices—about the merits of a certain series starring a girl with a bow and arrow. Another editor could be heard observing that Lena Dunham’s “Girls” has many novelistic antecedents—on average, about one every ten years—and wondering how the four-girl, post-collegiate formula has evolved. Yet another talked about how, after first reading “David Copperfield,” as a teen-ager, she opened it again when she was pregnant, and found that it was a different book. Sometimes, it seems, it can be hard to get a cup of coffee without proffering an opinion on a much talked-about début, or even an obscure one, hot off a Brooklyn letterpress.
Page-Turner is an elaboration of this ongoing conversation (look for some of the arguments and enthusiasms reported above in the coming weeks), building on the work of the Book Bench blog, and expanding on it. We’ll debate about books under-noticed or too much noticed, and celebrate writers we’ve returned to again and again. We’ll look to works in translation and at the politics of literary scenes beyond the English-speaking world. We’ll think about technology and the reading life. We’ll recommend and we’ll theorize. Daily essays will be the blog’s mainstay, with books as an anchor for wide-ranging cultural comment.
Looking again at stories by V. S. Pritchett that he had admired years before, he’s startled by something he hadn’t remembered: “Rereading them, you relish the craftsmanship, but then your eye is caught, once again, by something else. Birds, for instance. I had remembered ‘…and the rooks came out of the elms like bits of black paper,’ in ‘The Key to My Heart,’ but not ‘A soft owl flew over the lane.’ The short adjective, instead of the expected adverb, is art itself, and makes a place and a mood and a time of day, an entire scene, out of seven words…This is what we’re looking for in the fiction line. We want that owl.” With Angell’s permission, we’d like borrow the experience of seeing that owl and recognizing its power for Page-Turner. It’s a place to record jolts of pleasure we get from books, and to discover how something works on us when it works.
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/05/introducing-page-turner.html#ixzz1v6zmm05u