It’s hard to believe that the country containing Aokigahara, or “The Suicide Forest”, has for so long ignored its abundance of clinically depressed, “overworked” citizens, but Junko Kitanaka, in her book Depression in Japan, explains exactly why that’s happened.
What's the one question you should never ask a writer starting a new book: how's the writing going? "Nothing can damage a novel in embryo as quickly and effectively as trying to describe it before it’s ready," Mark Slouka writes. Follow his advice for how to keep your writer friends.
Jane Austen is a rare figure. Acclaimed as one of the most brilliant authors in modern history, she has a popularity that few of her peers can match, as evidenced by her posthumous sales and huge numbers of dedicated fans. How did her work hit the sweet spot of broad appeal and scholarly fame? In the WSJ, Alexander McCall Smith provides a theory. (h/t The Paris Review Daily)