In Brief

Not much ten­nis news. Nadal wins the Rio Open, Venus takes the Dubai title. Wake me up when the clay court sea­son arrives.

Last week­end, I went down a Break­ing Bad, Sea­son Five, Part I worm­hole just as Sea­son Five, Part II was down­loaded to Net­flix, thank god. That’s ecsta­tic tele­vi­sion, the most riv­et­ing I’ve ever watched. Mean­while, I find myself less and less engaged with The Walk­ing Dead. The show’s oscil­la­tion between the group’s strug­gle to find a home and then sur­vive on the road wears thin. It lacks a macro-narrative, a larger arc; its feels episodic at best, sta­tic more often. That the core group has been scat­tered makes it all the more atom­ized. Con­se­quently the show strug­gles to build sus­pense. In the last episode, I also found it hard to believe (spoiler alert) that Rick could man­age to choke out that guy in the bath­room with­out being dis­cov­ered. I’ve lived in an old house like that. From the third floor, you could hear a base­ment mouse clip­ping its toe­nails. So many loose joints in the place the struc­ture was like a tin-cup telephone.

If you’re a Mar­isha Pessl fan (Spe­cial Top­ics in Calamity Physics), here’s our Salon@615 talk at Nashville’s Main library about her new novel, Night Film. Loved her shoes. (It was a tor­ren­tially rainy night, btw). If you can’t get enough of me in person—I know I can’t, I can’t get away from myself—I’ll be teach­ing an evening class at the Uni­ver­sity School of Nashville on Tues­day evening, March 4. If you’re a New Yorker, I’ll be appear­ing at Brook­lyn Col­lege on March 19 with the poet Dana White and play­wright Donna Di Nov­elli—a brief read­ing from each of us will be fol­lowed by a Q & A. Nashville’s Par­nas­sus Book­store has acclaimed young nov­el­ist Amy Greene (Blood­root) stop­ping by on Mon­day evening, March 3, to read from her new novel, Long Man, which has received won­der­ful advance word. I’ll also be in the audi­ence at Prince­ton University’s Berlind The­ater to hear The Story Award, Dylan Thomas Prize, and New York Pub­lic Library Young Lions Book award win­ner Claire Vaye Watkins read from her novel-in-progress on March 12. She and I enjoyed a nice men­tion in Chang-rae Lee’s New York Times Book Review “By the Book” inter­view. While I haven’t yet read On Such a Full Sea, I highly rec­om­mend his pre­vi­ous novel, The Sur­ren­dered, a 2010 Pulitzer final­ist. The last book to move me as much was Salter’s Light Years.