Nicholas Rys interviews Sean Kilpatrick, author of Sucker June, on the creation of his characters, comparisons of the book to Nabokov’s Lolita, and how film inspires the writer:
I came first to film like a neighing kinsman. Anyone could snicker at my picks in the holiest of fresh fields, our Man Bites Dog cinema.
Even if I didn’t quite grasp the nature of my radical misreading of the novel—Humbert’s a predator, not a competitor—I understood that for the majority of readers it didn’t tend to provoke reactions like mine.
Japanese bookseller Kinokuniya Co. plans on increasing the number of direct purchases made from publishers to avoid wholesalers’ markups. The store previously bought most of the stock of Murakami’s latest essay collection to compete against online sales.
Burlesque dancers danced outside a Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the Upper West Side of Manhattan after the store cancelled a performance booked months earlier to promote the release of Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St Cyr....more
Some movies just aren’t all that good. A.O. Scott makes the case for film snobbery:
You see the problem. “Snob” is a category in which nobody would willingly, or at least unironically, claim membership. Like the related (and similarly complicated) term “hipster,” it’s what you call someone else.
At The New Inquiry, Alison Kinney examines the use of orphanhood in literature and what attracts readers to this narrative. She goes on to discuss the similarities and differences between orphans represented in literature, like Jane Eyre, and orphans in our real world:
Fairy tales of stolen infants resonate with those of us who come from countries where babies are trafficked, birth families cheated out of their custody, and in-country childless couples wish to adopt but are barred by the higher prices set on the international market.
For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Larry S. McGrath writes about the growing role of neuroscience in writing new historical narratives. McGrath frames this discussion in a review of historian Lynn Hunt’s Writing History in the Global Era, looking particularly at her claim of a “biochemical revolution” in shaping the modern consciousness....more
Guernica has an excerpt from an upcoming collection of letters and interviews by Elena Ferrante, Fragments: On Writing, Reading, and Absence, featuring some beautiful prose on the origins of writing, some slant-eyed answers to questions of identity, and brutal melancholia brought on by her work....more
At Notches, a peer-reviewed blog on history and sexuality, Robert J. Gamble explores the figure of the 19th century female huckster as well as the middle-class anxieties that slandered and vilified them....more
Mensah Demary, Associate Web Editor for the new and exciting online literary outlet Catapult, shares his story of how he got to be where he is through a series of hilarious and depressing montages, with an overarching theme worth internalizing: “I don’t have the answers; I only have my life.”...more
Monday 10/5: It’s the first Monday of the month, which means you have your chance to strut your literary stuff in the Speakeasy/Open Mic Night! Sign-ups begin at 7:45 p.m., readings begin at 8 p.m. at The Last Bookstore.
Tuesday 10/6: David Davis discusses and signs his new biography Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku....more
Can one speak about suffering if one hasn’t experienced it?
Kenneth Goldsmith has long been a figure of tension in the literary community: at once a savior for the conceptual intellectualists and avant-garde, and a malicious clown bent on provocation and appropriation....more
We have a new Monthly Book Report coming out on Monday! If you haven’t already subscribed, today is the day. You don’t want to miss our roundup of the stellar fiction, nonfiction, and poetry reviews that went up on the site this past month—plus, we throw in a Rumpus Original Fiction story for good measure....more
Saturday 10/3: J. Mae Barizo, Laurel Blossom, Patrick Ryan Frank, Rebecca Okrent, and Jonathan Wells present books from Four Way Press, along with Britt Melewski, curator of the FREE WATER series. KGB, 7 p.m., free....more
The West for me is a haunted place. There are these mythic ghosts everywhere you go. I don’t know of a region that buys its own bullshit more so than the American West does.
Over at Lit Hub, Robert Hahn finds homage to the voice of Nick Carraway in the fiction of Donna Tartt, Lorrie Moore, and Richard Ford, and discusses the lasting allure and the divisiveness of The Great Gatsby:
There is a solution to the mystery of Gatsby’s lasting fame, as believers know, and to my mind that solution is voice.
On Thursday, Guernica’s October issue went live with a fantastical tale of childhood by Sofi Stambo. “A Bunch of Savages,” which was chosen by Aimee Bender to win the Disquiet International Literary Program Award in fiction, follows a maybe gypsy, definitely poor family in Stambo’s native Bulgaria during communism....more
Over at The Nervous Breakdown, Elise Sherman explores her literary roots in a self interview that touches on the South, her neo-Faulknerian tendencies, and the difference between New Orleans and the rest of the world....more
Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake aside, it’s hard to imagine a more mutualistic artist-writer pair than Robert Kloss and Matt Kish. (The Rumpus also recommends the duo of Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg.) Kloss and Kish (who also illustrated every page of Moby Dick) have never met, but they still manage to talk about landscapes conducive to writing myths, their new book The Revelator, and the formidable undertaking of reading all of Melville’s writing....more