Garth Greenwell discusses his debut novel, What Belongs to You, crossing boundaries, language as defense, and the queer tradition of novel writing that blurs boundaries between fiction and essay and autobiography. ...more
I think it’s unrealistic to max out in every area of your life simultaneously—there’s just not time for everything. But if you’re able to prioritize certain elements of your life during certain periods, you can make everything work over time.
Editions at Play, the brainchild of Visual Editions publishers Anna Gerber and Britt Iverson and Google Creative Lab in Sydney, has launched, pushing the boundaries of books so far off that they can no longer be printed. Editions at Play creates interactive storytelling experiences meant for your phone, the justification for which being that digital is a new media aching to be explored by writers with more depth, more sensitivity, and more fun poking around in Google Earth. So far Editions has two titles, both of which are fun and less than $5.
The historical novel describes then what might have happened within what happened; the feeling of being free within the machine of one’s fate, dare I even say the old consciousness.
For The New Republic, Alexander Chee explores historical fiction and whether the genre owes more to literature or historical accuracy. For more from Chee on history and his new novel, The Queen of the Night, check out our recent interview with the author.
In Green’s novels, there is considerable tension between the potent appeal of his manic pixie characters, the excitement and fun they bring into the narrators’ lives, and the messages these characters impart about their own lives and identities. It is only through celebrating the quirky charisma of manic pixie dream girls and fully exploring their attraction that he is able to show their accompanying problems.
This Saturday, Beyoncé dropped “Formation,” her first single since 2014. The song came one day before the Queen’s Superbowl 50 appearance and was accompanied by a free download via Tidal, Pitchfork reports.
Like most of the artist’s videos, the video for “Formation” is incredibly visually compelling, moving from an Antebellum House to images protesting police brutality to Beyoncé sinking, atop a cop car, in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina. Watch it for yourself after the jump. (more…)
First, Brandon Hicks unveils a triptych of “Quick-Takes” illustrating his irreverent views on nature, famous trees, and the rapture.
Then, in the Saturday Essay, Ashley Inguanta mourns for her best friend who passed away years ago. The two of them met as children and grew up together in a small town, sharing in the milestones of adolescence. Inguanta revisits her childhood home, wielding place as a tool to dredge up the intimacy of the past: “I write because I don’t know what else to do.”
Meanwhile, novelist Ravi Howard talks to Amina Gautier in the Sunday Interview. Howard explains his process in creating the novels, Like Trees, Walking and Driving the King. The stories feature narrators from families of morticians and taxi cab drivers, respectively. Historical time periods informed both works, Howard says, as did “writing from a space of discomfort.”
Memoir, the offspring of the slave narrative, is not simply a form within the Black literary tradition; it has thoroughly shaped that tradition.
With the release of smash hit Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, as well as acclaimed releases Negroland, Twin of Blackness, and Remnants, the black memoir is in a veritable golden age. Imani Perry discusses the literary sphere inhabited by slave narratives and James Baldwin as a place to understand individual interpretations of racism in “this vexing, separate, and unequal nation.”
Anne Boyd Rioux reviews a new biography on the wife of Lord Byron, Anne Isabella Milbanke. In her review, Rioux evaluates the still-too-high standard set for women’s biographies, particularly when those women lived in the shadow of famous men:
Insisting that the female relatives of famous men be accomplished players on the world stage in their own right in order to warrant biographical treatment is perhaps asking too much. Telling silenced women’s stories from their own points of view is justification enough.
This week I found myself reading way too much about the Democratic primary. To what extent is the expressed dislike of Hillary rooted in sexism? Is being the first woman to win a primary contest in the United States giving a big f-you to the establishment, or is someone who’s been paid big bucks by Goldman Sachs by definition as establishment as you can get? Could a president determined to remain outside the establishment get anything done in this country, anyway? What does this pundit say? And that one? And…. (more…)
“It wasn’t until I was writing letters to my girlfriend, and describing to her my fellow Peace Corps volunteers and host-family members and long walks home through old Soviet collectivized farmland in what I would categorize as yellow-belt Wallaceian prose, that I realized how completely the book had rewired me.”
We’re getting ready to send out our next Letter in the Mail, and it’s from Summer Pierre! Summer sends us a beautifully illustrated letter about leaving her family to take a solo road trip to visit a friend. She shares the she has thoughts along the way, as well as her memories of road trips from her youth.
When you think of romance, you probably think Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Gone With the Wind, Wuthering Heights—or anything by Nicholas Sparks if you’re into more modern fare. These famous love stories, spread across centuries, have one thing in common: they’re all about heterosexual couples. Matthew Griffin’s debut novel, Hide, is helping change that narrative with a rich and tender tale of a life-long love between two men. The novel isn’t out till February 16th, but this week Electric Literature gives us a first taste with a stand-alone excerpt titled “The First Summer,” which is a powerful story all by itself.
Wendell and Frank first met when Frank, freshly home from World War II, walked into Wendell’s taxidermy shop in a small North Carolina town. Needless to say, it wasn’t an era or a place that accepted two men in love, and Frank and Wendell retreated to a sparsely populated island to spend their first summer together, away from prying eyes. (more…)
PJ Harvey has released another video from her upcoming album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, which will come out April 15th on Vagrant. The video for “The Wheel” was filmed in Kosovo and London, as NPR reports, and documents the singer’s work with her collaborator, Irish director Seamus Murphy, examining Europe’s recurring crises of war, ethnic conflict, and refugees. Watch the video after the jump.(more…)