While I couldn’t read “In Gratitude” without a persistent lump in my throat, and without the persistent awareness that its author was … experiencing the very last days or hours or minutes of her life, Diski’s final book proves transcendently disobedient, the most existence-affirming and iconoclastic defense a writer could mount against her own extinction.
Posts Tagged: New York Times
The Internet has been abuzz with grammatically incorrect chatter since the New York Times recently published an article heralding the end of the period. But Flavorwire’s Jonathon Sturgeon doesn’t expect that little dot to go anywhere anytime soon:
Bilefsky’s piece — or any long piece without periods — is like a car without brakes.
At the New York Times, Jennifer Weiner writes about her experience with the gendered devaluation of popular fiction:
Somewhere between my birth and my novel’s publication, I’d gotten the message that there were books that mattered and books that did not; writers whom an Ivy League institution would be proud to claim, and those who would be asked for donations, but not invited back to speak.
As a child, I loved it when a book took me somewhere else. I still do, but I’m more surprised and grateful now to be transported by words on a page from one world to another. Perhaps because, as grown-ups, we value what is harder won.
We follow Heffernan through the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Internet History, as she annotates the exhibits: the Kindle, with its lithe design and endless supply of books, usurper of the printed word; the MP3, compressing the rapture and idiosyncrasies of your favorite music, destroyer of the music business and the listening experience; YouTube, standing among the smoldering wreckage of the linear-minded entertainment industries, triumphant in its mesmerizing stunts, obscure clips and unboxing videos.
For the New York Times, Alexandra Alter writes about the Middle Eastern writers finding refuge from the post-Arab Spring disillusionment and chaos in dystopian fiction, speaking with writers like Basma Abdel Aziz, author of The Queue, and Saleem Haddad, author of Guapa....more
For Electric Literature, Tabitha Blankenbiller offers a critique of the recent New York Times article about “Man Book Clubs,” and analyzes how gendered book covers influence readers’ choices and experience:
We can debate the levels of hubris and/or drunkenness in the NYT editorial room all we want, but what we have is an article claiming real estate and resources in The New York Times’ Books section.
A new treatise on the importance of the genre-melting artist has been published by the New York Times, inspired by the New York Public Library’s acquisition of Arthur Russell’s archives.
The acquisition itself is massive, sprawling, and difficult to catalogue, according to the NYT piece:
[It] includes a thousand-or-so reels, cassettes, DATs, Beta and VHS tapes with hundreds of hours of unreleased and probably unreleasable material, representing how Russell made his work—laying down individual tracks, or practicing, or jamming—often in long sessions, and with musicians who may have had little idea what they were working on at the time....more
At the New York Times, Karl Ove Knausgaard describes how Joyce’s Portrait included him in literature’s potential in a way that Ulysses didn’t:
In “Portrait,” Joyce ventures inside that part of our identity for which no language yet exists, probing into the space between what belongs to the individual alone and what is ours together, exploring the shifts of mind, the currents of our moods and feelings as they flow blindly this way and that, and mapping the unarticulated, more or less salient presence of the soul, that part of our inner being that rises when we are enthused and falls when we are afraid or despairing.
…motherhood is an undiscovered country in the literary sense, one we must venture into lest our experience goes unrecorded, or recorded only by men.
At the New York Times, Sarah Ruhl reviews Rivka Galchen’s new collection of essays, Little Labors, and imagines a rich and intimate solidarity, even friendship, between herself and Galchen as mothers....more
For the New York Times’s Bookends column, Thomas Mallon and Leslie Jamison muse on the books that best capture the intricate and fraught relationships between siblings:
That’s what I felt Faulkner intuited about siblings: that there were all sorts of gaps and harms and distances that might befall them, that they might inflict on each other, but that they loved each other anyway.
There is a powerful emotional undertow to these poems that springs from Mr. Vuong’s sincerity and candor, and from his ability to capture specific moments in time with both photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things.
Taking a different stance on the men-only book clubs that have everyone rolling their eyes, Slate’s L.V. Anderson argues that feminists should applaud men embracing an activity that has been so coded as feminine—and eagerly await the day when men do not feel like they have to declare their masculinity in order to do so:
Men who deliberately take time to discuss literature with other men are subverting and challenging gender norms, no matter how jokily macho their book club names might be.
Over at the New York Times, Ayana Mathis and Siddhartha Deb consider which subjects are most underrepresented in contemporary literature: joy and struggling for a place to live....more
What happens when writers suddenly face a windfall? Bad things. That’s why the Whiting Awards include a financial planning workshop for winners. Winners of the 2016 Whiting Awards each received $50,000. For authors who are struggling as freelancers or adjunct professors, that is a huge influx of cash....more
When texture and feeling and specificity is expressed so exquisitely in the prose that you feel you must understand the writer.
For the New York Times’s “By the Book,” actress Gwyneth Paltrow shares her favorite authors and works of literature, and reveals the books that have made the greatest emotional impact on her....more
She was fed exclusively through a gastrostomy tube. Although she couldn’t speak, she often smiled and made noises and expressed pleasure in the company of her siblings. Her parents — worried that their daughter’s continued growth would restrict her ability to join family trips, swing in the backyard, take baths or cuddle in their arms — formed a plan with Gunther to limit her adult stature.
Author Laura van den Berg has glowing words about Helen Oyeyemi’s short story collection, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours. In her New York Times book review, van den Berg writes: “A collection is, by my lights, a chance to build a universe, an overarching ecosystem… Oyeyemi has created a universe that dazzles and wounds.”...more
Sahota takes it further in “The Year of the Runaways”: “What decadence this belonging rubbish was, what time the rich must have if they could sit around and weave great worries out of such threadbare things.”
With an eye on two new novels by Indian writers, and perspective from writers such as Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Pankaj Mishra, Parul Sehgal of the New York Times Book Review writes about the state of the literature of immigration....more
For the New York Times, Benjamin Moser and Charles McGrath explore the works of authors who they believe have been unfairly stigmatized. While Moser analyzes why Susan Sontag’s work has become branded as “rubbish” and “archetypal,” McGrath confronts Kipling’s reputation as a “caricature” of “incorrectness.”...more