Adrian Daub’s fascinating essay in the LA Review of Books on the Stephen King classic IT — now 30 years old — reveals that the real horror of IT wasn’t Pennywise the supernatural clown, but our own, entirely human ability to forget the horrors of the past.
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 […]
In a candid interview at the Guardian, author Paul Auster — who turns 70 next month — discusses his breadth of work over the decades, American life and politics in the age of Trump, and his new novel, 4321, which he refers to as the biggest book of his life.
Readers often wonder how much of an author’s real life ends up in their novels. In 2013 in the Virginia Quarterly Review, novelist Nina Revoyr described how she combined elements of her life with the real lives of silent-film era actors Sessue Hayakawa and Mary Miles Minter in her book The Age of Dreaming. Revoyr […]
Guernica: Is there ever a situation where you’d advise an author not to take a big advance that’s being offered? Chris Parris-Lamb: No, not really. Which is not the same as saying they should always take the biggest advance that’s being offered. But I’d never advise an author to turn down an advance because it’s […]
Orlando has long had a towering, and very much deserved, reputation in the LGBT community; it was published the same year Radclyffe Hall’s controversial The Well of Loneliness, depicting lesbianism as a tragic curse, became a bestseller. Woolf’s creation of a figure who effortlessly changes sex casually upends any notion that biological sex is related […]
There are times you see the rot you’ve always been. My days were a trail of liquor-store bumblings and sunrise guilt, and every penny I’d earned these years had come to rest in a dirty glass. I’d ceased caring for others, and definitely for myself. The only things that mattered were booze and books. Scrubbing […]
Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, writing in The New York Times Book Review, about television vs. the novel: Television is not the new novel. Television is the old novel. In the future, novelists need not abandon plot and character, but would do well to bear in mind the novel’s weirdness. At this point in our technological evolution, […]
An elephant mysteriously vanishes. A giant frog is waiting in your apartment. Your cat mysteriously vanishes. Two moons hang in the sky. Your wife mysteriously vanishes. A strange man comes to you and asks you to find a sheep, or a woman calls and asks for ten minutes of your time. You might be the […]
“Of course, since Descartes and the 17th Century there have been other French philosophers and many of them have turned their attention to the processes of human thought but the Cartesian legacy is still very important in the French intellectual tradition. In a Cartesian society, everything is ordered according to clear, precise, mathematical, scientific principles, […]
“Sophie stood on the gravel path, thinking. She tried to think extra hard about being alive so as to forget that she would not be alive forever. But it was impossible. As soon as she concentrated on being alive now, the thought of dying also came into her mind. The same thing happened the other […]