First of all, congratulations to Kori who won a copy of Jennifer Haigh's The Condition! I will be contacting you for your address.
Second, The Washington Post had a very positive review yesterday of Factory Girls by Leslie Chang, a book I've blogged about this week.
Finally, I've been reading about this book lately: State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America. It's a collection of essays about each of the fifty states by notable authors, such as Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Joshua Ferris, Ha Jin, Ann Patchett, Susan Orlean, and many others you've heard of.
Entertainment Weekly gave it an A, with this short review:
This eclectic collection of essays describing the ordinary people and places within our 50 states is as essential as the Rand McNally atlas. It includes pieces from the likes of Rick Moody (Conn.) and S.E. Hinton (Okla.), each searching for a sliver of the American character. Alternately brash and bashful (''You're probably just skimming through this chapter on your way to Nevada,'' writes Nebraskan Alexander Payne), each literary foray in State by State is well worth the trip.
The book was inspired by the Depression-era Federal Writers' Project, which "sent the great authors of the day out on the road to write a series of travel guides," according to NPR. Click here for an audio interview with the editors of State by State, Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey.
The New York Times, in its review, calls State by State "a funny, moving, rousing collection, greater than the sum of its excellent parts, a convention of literary super-delegates, each one boisterously nominating his or her piece of the Republic."