Susan Read’s short fiction centers on a Kafka-esque interrogation in the back room of a coffee shop — you know, the one where they wear the green aprons — that’s a stinging indictment of the byzantine policies, procedures, and psychology of being a low wage employee.
In Vulture, book critic Christian Lorentzen suggests we dispense with terms like “postmodern” and “postwar” when discussing novels, and instead analyze them relative to the presidential administrations under which they were released. What will we mean when someday we refer to Obama Lit? I think we’ll be discussing novels about authenticity, or about “problems of […]
Black Cardigan is a great newsletter by writer-editor Carrie Frye, who shares dispatches from her reading life. We’re thrilled to share some of them on Longreads. Go here to sign up for her latest updates. *** A few months ago, my friend Maud was in town from New York, and one afternoon I met her and her stepdaughter at a […]
Black Cardigan is a great newsletter by writer-editor Carrie Frye, who shares dispatches from her reading life. We’re thrilled to share some of them on Longreads. Go here to sign up for her latest updates. * * * I was skipping around Google the other day and was reminded of a piece by Colson Whitehead called “How To Write.” You may […]
“That’s the problem with history, we like to think it’s a book—that we can turn the page and move the fuck on. But history isn’t the paper it’s printed on. It’s memory, and memory is time, emotions, and song. History is the things that stay with you.” -Paul Beatty’s satirical novel The Sellout, winner of the […]
“The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three.” -From Jenny Offill’s wonderful 2014 novel Dept. of Speculation — the story of a married couple in Brooklyn, told through snippets of wisdom, anger, love, and bedbugs. In […]
Once, I did a reading in New York where an older lady came up to me afterwards and said, “Your writing is beautiful, and there’s no doubt you’re a great writer, but I’m sorry I won’t be reading any more of that story. That was just too painful for me.” Then, a year or two […]