Breaking Up with God author Sarah Sentilles responds to some of her memoir’s critics. “Reviewers’ words about my book,” she writes, “demonstrate how sexism shapes responses to women’s writing, in particular women’s writing about God.”
“[Virginie] Despentes has become a kind of cult hero, a patron saint to invisible women: the monstrous and marginalized, the sodden, weary and wildly unemployable, the kind of woman who can scarcely be propped up let alone persuaded to lean in.” On Virginie Despentes’s Bye Bye Blondie and French feminist pulp that pulls no punches.
We’ve written a fair bit about the By the Book series at the Times. You can read a selection of the best entries in a collection published by the paper. This week, the series featured another novel guest: Alan Gilbert, the conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Sample quote: “I don’t seek out books about music. I’ve read them over the years, but somehow, as a genre, it isn’t something I am specifically looking for.”
Bookish men of New York. Are you listening? Good. On February 13th, Housing Works is hosting a “Literary Speed Dating” event… except they currently have a slight problem. There are literally too many women signed up for the event. If this isn’t enticing enough for you to buy a ticket immediately, perhaps a $4 discount will be. Simply enter the event code “TOLSTOY” when you buy online – or visit this link directly. Now, hurry. Think of which book you’ll bring with you. You know, the one you’re “just kinda, like, reading for fun at the moment.”
“And that might be the best way to understand Erdrich’s artistic project: as a celebration of beauty and a testament to the redemptive power of art — which, of course, includes storytelling.” Rumaan Alam interviews Louise Erdrich about her illustrious writing career for Buzzfeed Reader. Erdrich’s newest novel Future Home of the Living God was featured in our November Preview.
We like big books and we cannot lie. But are books just continuing to get longer and longer? A new survey of bestsellers has concluded that the average book is now 25% bigger than its counterpart fifteen years ago. The Guardian investigates. Mark O’Connell at The Millions has his own theory about long books.