arts 10.14.03

Two Rising Stars

Jhumpa Lahiri is young, beautiful, a prodigiously talented writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her extraordinary collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies, and euphoniously named. That last is worth considering in the context of her new novel The Namesake. It's the story of Gogol Ganguli, whose unusual first name becomes a key theme in the character's first-generation journey. The Namesake is published by Houghton Mifflin, $24.

Norway's Sondre Lerche (pronounced SON-der LER-ke) writes the words to his alternately buoyant and melancholy melodies in English. Even at the tender age of 21, he clearly knows his American popular musical history (influences, he says, run from Beck to Bacharach, and all the way back to Cole Porter). But it's his own distinctive sensibility that make him a singer-songwriter to watch. Mr. Lerche will be performing at the Bowery Ballroom on November 18. Mr. Lerche's website is Tickets for the show ($13) are at 866.468.7619 or
Several readers wrote in to say we missed a good watch repair place. "I have been using for over 15 years Central Watchband Stand in Grand Central Station's Roosevelt Passage, 212.685.1689. In addition to cleaning and repairs, they also sell vintage watches and have a huge selection of bands (including French lizard and croc) at competitive prices. They have done excellent work on my vintage IWC and Rolex watches.

The brain trust over at Daily Candy, no doubt having read MUG's On the Radar from Octrober 3, is featuring today the Treo 600 cellphone/PDA from Handspring. Writes DC, the Treo 600 "can replace at least four of your current gadgets: phone, digital camera, Palm organizer, and Web browser." While it's true that the Treo has browser software, anyone you know carry around a 'Web browser gadget'?

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