Literary News: Pynchon and the Ling sisters

For the past week, I’ve been wondering what all the fuss was surrounding the trailer for Thomas Pynchon’s new book, Inherent Vice.  Apparently he narrates the trailer, which is apparently rare because Pynchon is apparently pretty reclusive.  He also sounds like The Dude from The Big Lebowski, according to EW’s Shelf Life.

I still find the fervor people are stirring up over this guy’s voice pretty humorous.  I’ve never read Pynchon, or know much about him for that matter, but people are reacting pretty fanatically.  However, the best part of this story is that the Wall Street Journal  was so concerned with proving this really was Pynchon, that they contacted a Michigan-based sound engineer and voice identification expert and had him compare the voice on the trailer with a clip from the Simpsons.  Yes, the Simpsons.  Apparently, Pynchon made an appearance on the show in 2004…well, his voice did. His character rightly had a paper bag over his head.

In other news, the Wall Street Journal is also reporting that recently-freed journalist Laura Ling is teaming up with her sister, Oprah Winfrey Show correspondent Lisa Ling, for a book proposal to “examine the meaning of sisterhood and journalistic ideals.”  Now, I’m not slamming Oprah Winfrey for being on the softer side of news, but I think the combination of the two is a bit odd.  Yes, they’re sisters.  Yes, they’re both journalists.  But one was jailed in North Korea and represented the struggle for free speech in communist nations.  The other works for…Oprah.  Laura’s captivity will be mentioned in the book, but placed in a “larger context.”  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think readers are going to care about Laura’s soft-shoed sister.  Where’s the book on being young, standing up for journalistic ideals, and potentially facing life in a North Korean prison?  That’s the book I’ll read.

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