Punctuation Rental is the personal website of Bill Tipper. It does say “William Tipper” up there in the URL, but they only call me that at the doctor’s office. I’m a writer and editor, and I live in a part of Brooklyn that was once called Goat Hill, though sadly that’s no longer its name.
I’ve been the Managing Editor of the Barnes & Noble Review since we started publishing online in 2007. If you’ve never been over there, I encourage you to take a look around — we post something worth your time (or at least worth somebody’s time) every day. Shameless, minor boast: In the midst of a long, trenchant article about the state of literary journalism, John Palatella said in The Nation that the BNR was “better edited than any newspaper books section.”
Although most of my responsibilities include watering down other peoples’ prose, if you want to see a bit of what I’ve written for the site, here are some interviews I’ve done with Teddy Wayne, Claire Tomalin, Rob Sheffield and others; I also occasionally review books on subjects like Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens. I’ve also made some contributions to our humor column, including “Beat Your Child — at Chess”, of which I am still inordinately fond.
Contributors I am privileged to work with regularly include Michael Dirda, Robert Christgau, Katherine A. Powers, Heller McAlpin, James Parker, Daniel Menaker, Maud Newton and many other wonderful writers too numerous to list here. Here’s a recent illustrated piece full of bird skeletons that I was very happy we published.
I studied British and American literature at New York University; while finishing my Ph.D., and after, I taught writing and literature at NYU and at St. John’s University here in New York. I then decided to experience what turned out to be the dying echo of the dot-com boom as the employee of a consulting firm that has long since been absorbed into another consulting firm (which was absorbed, I believe, into another. And so on.) Since that time, I’ve been employed in various capacities at BN.com, which led, happily, to my current role with the BNR.
Personal fascinations include Tarot cards, the technical aspects of 19th-century theater, and otters. I am a proud if junior — and often struggling — member of the Learned League. I believe that XTC is an underrated band, that in a just world C.P. Snow’s The Masters would be the subject of a lavish Masterpiece Theatre miniseries adaptation, and that subway travel is good for the soul.