Posts Tagged: new yorker

Late Bloomer

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At the New Yorker, James Wood reviews Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, an English writer who emerged on the scene at sixty-one:

The story that Lee’s book tells (or tries to tell, because much evidence has been obscured or lost) is not about patience on a monument but about talent buried under a heavy plinth, and discovered only just in time—the late achievement less a measured distillation than a lifesaving decoction.

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Standing Ovation

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Over at the New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh gives Chris Rock the profile treatment. Sanneh touches on the business of comedy, dueling aesthetics, and the trouble with staying relevant in an age of irrelevance:

On set, whenever someone complimented Rock’s performance in a scene he responded with cheerful self-deprecation: “Just trying to stay in show business.” Unlike Andre Allen, Rock doesn’t have a signature character so popular that he never has to work again… He is a working comic who needs to keep working.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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It’s that time of year where we’re all craving a good scary story, be it told by candle light, on a screen, or in a book. Neil Gaiman’s middle-reader graphic novel Hansel and Gretel came out on Tuesday of this week, and he recently spoke to TOON Books editor Françoise Mouly and Art Speigelman about it.

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An Inconvenient Fiction

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Invoking his new play, Buzz, Benjamin Kunkel writes in the New Yorker about how “few imaginative writers have dealt with the present-day experience of global warming in a direct and concentrated way” and why this might be the case:

If climate change has, to date, proved hard to write about, that’s because it exists for most of us, to date, as something that afflicts different neighborhoods, distant cities, or future times.

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Skewed Standards

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The YA battle rages on at Flavorwire, where Sarah Seltzer responds to Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker essay pondering the effects of supposedly lowbrow children’s lit:

We have to interrogate our basic assumption that writing skills possessed by educated white people are the best skills around…Humor, action, relatable language, and plotting are not lesser tools in a writer’s toolbox, but equally necessary ones.

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Hasta la Madre

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At the New YorkerFrancisco Goldman tackles the malaise shadowing his favorite city in the world:

Mexico City feels different these days. Its usual vibrancy has been muted, and not only because of the missing students of Ayotzinapa. Paéz tells me that when he walked the city streets on the night of September 16th, which is Mexican Independence Day, he was struck by how quiet things were.

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Apollo Revisited

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Tom Hanks (yeah, that one), lands his short fiction debut over at the New Yorker:

I’ve been around great storytellers all my life and, like an enthusiastic student, I want to tell some of my own. And I read so much nonfiction that the details stack up in my head and need a rearranging sometimes.

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Another Story to Guide You

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Over at the New Yorker, Etgar Keret and Sayed Kashua continue their conversation:

I believe that this despair is temporary, and that even though there are quite a few political elements that would rather see us despairing, and even though it sometimes seems as if enormous forces are working to convince us that hope is just another word in our national anthem and not a powerful force that can lead to change, people feel deep down that the terrible situation we find ourselves in is not really the only dish on the regional menu.

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A Story to See You Through

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Etgar Keret and Sasha Kayua have had a pretty busy year: after speaking out against Israeli intolerance, and getting snubbed on every front, the pair turned to penning their viewpoints to each other. The New Yorker‘s published a few of them, and when Kashua asks Keret for a story to see him through, his friend does us all the favor of obliging:

2015 was a historic year in the Middle East, all because of a surprising, brilliant idea that an Arab-Israeli expatriate had.

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Take a Stab: An Essay

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In anticipation of the Best American Essays 2014, which will come out later this week from Houghton Mifflin, the New Yorker brings us an adaptation of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s introduction to the anthology—a historical investigation of the word “essay.” Sullivan goes beyond the well-worn territory of debating the connotations Montaigne intended for his “Essais,” exploring the literary legacy of King James and the cultural reach of dramatist Ben Jonson.

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Amis, Oates, and the Foul-Smelling Meadow

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Recent [WWII] novels by Susanna Moore and Ayelet Waldman achieve their emotional power by focussing upon characters peripheral to the terrible European history that has nonetheless altered their lives. The conflagration must be glimpsed indirectly, following Appelfeld’s admonition that “one does not look directly into the sun.”

Such circumspection has not been Martin Amis’s strategy in approaching the Holocaust.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Margaret Atwood released Stone Mattress, a collection of “wonderfully weird short stories.” Stone Mattress is Atwood’s eighth collection of stories, not to mention her 14 novels and other formidable volumes of poetry, children’s literature, and nonfiction.

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