Posts Tagged: The Paris Review

This Week in Short Fiction

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Leave it to The Toast to give us a story told by a mermaid as opposed to a story about one. And leave it to The Toast to find a very good mermaid storyteller indeed. On Wednesday, they released “Mermaids at the End of the Universe: A Short Story” by Kendra Fortmeyer, featuring illustrations by Stephanie Monohan.

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The First (Not-So-Great) American Novel

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He dearly yearns for Harriot as his mistress: “Shall we not,” he asks her, “obey the dictates of nature, rather than confine ourselves to the forced, unnatural rules of—and—and shall the halcyon days of youth slip through our fingers unenjoyed?” (Actually, Harrington says all of this with “the language of the eyes.” Early Americans excelled, you see, at conducting complicated conversations using only their peepers.)

The Paris Review examines The Power of Sympathy: or, the Triumph of Nature, a 226-year-old sentimental book widely considered to be the first American novel.

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Nell Zink, International Woman of Mystery

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Nell Zink’s debut novel, The Wallcreeper, offers a dark coming-of-age story of a married woman not all that dissimilar from Zink herself. Zink has lived a global lifestyle, picking up and moving to various cities on a whim. Matthew Jakubowski spoke with Zink over at the Paris Review:

I was a very excitable waitress, but management valued me for my strange talent of taking drink specials seriously.

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The Thomas Pynchon Myth

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Thomas Pynchon is a reclusive author—or so we are told. Vice unearths the origins of Pynchon’s famous isolation, attributing the legend to the Paris Review‘s George Plimpton:

It all started 51 years ago, in 1963, when George Plimpton in the New York Times published the line: “Pynchon is in his early twenties; he writes in Mexico City—a recluse.” It is doubtful if Plimpton, who helped create the Paris Review, knew at the time that he was accidentally kicking off the largest and longest game of Where’s Waldo?

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Guernica published “Walking on Water,” an excerpt from Payem Faeli’s 2010 novella, I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit… Figs. In this excerpt, translated into English by Sarah Khalili, Faeli provides a meditative taste of the novella’s wandering narrator, a young boy in search of a name.

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What Happens When You Never Talk About Religion

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In an interview with Jonathan Lee at The Paris Review, Joshua Ferris addresses why his new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, “starts from the question of whether there’s a kind of private language and intimacy to religion that the mutt-y white guys like [him] are missing out on.” More personally, he worries, too, if “as a writer there’s something [he] missed out on” not growing up with a religious sensibility:

… religion offers a writer a tradition both to be nurtured in and to fight against, and that nurturing and that conflict can produce great literature.

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