May 22, 2009






(may I propose TTEV The Tiny Elegant Variation)


Congratulations! She's beautiful!


Nicely done. Your finest work yet, I'm sure.

B.C. Silvia

Awwwww! Congratulations!

Nilanjana S Roy

That's a gorgeous first edition. Congratulations.


DoTev? :) Congratulations man. Bless her she's beautiful.

J.D. Finch

Fab looking kid, Sarvas. Congrats to all three of you.

Jacob Silverman

But what's her opinion of James Woods?

I kid -- congratulations! Enjoy the long weekend with your family.


Clara is so lovely. Congratulations!! and I am very glad you are all fighting fit.

Rachael King

Yay! Just goes to show what a ribbing over pizza and single malt can achieve! ;-)

Paul Lamb

She looks so serious and discerning.

Congratulations on the collaboration!


Oh my gosh! She is gorgeous and so alert for a newborn!


How utterly delightful! Love to you and your family.


How beautiful!

béatrice Mousli

Beware of that look!
Le regard...
Girls are wonderful: they like books and cats!
Enjoy every minute of it!


Che gioia! Auguri a voi tutti.




Congratulations! My best wishes to all of you!


Oh, beautiful! Congratulations!

gayle brandeis

Congratulations, Mark--so exciting! I have a little reader due in December, myself...maybe they can read together some day. :) Enjoy this amazing new adventure!

bert hirsch

what a joyful momenentous occassion. Mazel Tov.

Laura Strachan

Congratulations, Mark. We'll miss you at BEA, but this is a good excuse.


Larry Olson


Congratulations and welcome to gorgeous Clara.


Lisa Fugard

she is so beautiful, Mark, The biggest adventure has just begun!


Beautiful, and a beautiful name, too. Congratulations! Best wishes for many happy years ahead.

Laird Hunt

Congratulations, Mark! My little one, now a boisterous 3 and a half, has the same lovely middle name.


Congrats! Here's to life's greatest adventure.


Congratulations to you and your wife. She's beautiful.



Congratulations! A beautiful little girl. Like Laird, I am fond of the middle name (it is also mine).

Emerson Zora

She is amazing! Blessings to all of you. :)

Stacy Bierlein

She is gorgeous! Congratulations!


Truly a beautiful creation. Congratulations! Becoming a parent is like the moment in The Wizard of Oz movie when all of the sudden the world is in color, so much is the same but then again totally different.

Erika D.

Many congratulations, Mark! She is beautiful. I can only begin to imagine all the emotions right now.



I like "DoTEV" since it rhymes with our favorite off-screen critic, "MoTEV."

Banville is fine, but give her a year or two before you let her delve into Frederick Seidel. Some maturity needed there.

Jerry Sticker

Congrats Mark! She's adorable!

Janet Reid

welcome to the world Clara Grace!

Madeleine Conway

Congratulations, she's delicious. May she sleep and do all the other good baby things.


Congratulations, Mark. Way better than BEA.


Pretty, perky and yes, assonant!

Amitava Kumar

Congratulations, my friend.
Over the next few years, we should get to read more about books for children. Right now, the parents get the Caldecott Medal for this picture-perfect child.

David Worsley

Congratulations sir.
She's beautiful and one vote for DoTEV.
Get your sleep, and all the best.

Michelle Huneven

Adorable! So sweet! Congratulations!

Elizabeth Wilcox

Many congrats! She's absolutely beautiful.

martha southgate

Congrats Mark--well worth missing BEA for. Enjoy this time--as the parent of a 10 year old and a 14 year old, I can tell you that the old cliche is true. It goes too fast.

John Shannon

All the very best best, dude and dudess!




Congratulations! May she be happy and prosper! mazel tov!

Melissa Yancy

Congratulations! What a lovely name for a beautiful baby.


Congratulations, she's so smart!

julie badal

Congratulations!!! She's magical!


Congratulations, Mark! A lovely name for a lovely baby...


Fantastic! And Beautiful.


Mazel tov, Mark! She's beautiful and looks very wise. I would listen to what she has to say.


Ridiculously behind on my blog reading... Very belated Congratulations!!

Fran Manushkin

My heartiest HOORAY to the proud parents and the lovely Clara Grace!

Kevin Smokler

Actually, she told me she was a Chuck Klosterman fan.

I kid. Congratulations, Mark. That's gonna be one smart young lady.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."