Where did Modernism come from? Did it spring from the alienation engendered by the nineteenth century? Or did it spring instead from — as Hannah Sullivan argues in her new book, The Work of Revision — the typewriter?
“With the [Booker] longlist it was ‘What, no Amis or McEwan or Rushdie?’; with the shortlist it’s ‘What, no Mitchell or Tsiolkas or Tremain?’” Andrew Motion, chair of the judges, shares his thoughts on the whole business of judging the Booker prize, at Guardian.
Azar Nafisi thinks the best way to pin down a culture is to take a look at its canonical works of literature. In The Republic of Imagination, as Adam Begley details in a review in the Times Literary Supplement, she examines a few of America’s classic novels, including Babbitt, Huck Finn and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. You could also read Jonathan Russell Clark’s review of the book for The Millions.
“This question of presence seems crucial to Tillman’s project. Her position in a text is tricky—she operates both inside and outside of it, which allows her to thwart distanced critical authority and also perform the aesthetic slippages she admires in others’ work.” On Lynne Tillman’s new story collection.
In The New York Times Magazine, Heather Havrilesky cautions against “The Divorce Delusion,” or one of modern drama’s most unrealistic tropes. “Infidelity, a love child (or two), dalliances with prostitutes, lewd online behavior; we’ve watched so many spouses bounce back from hell,” she writes, “that maybe we’re beginning to believe that there’s no trauma so great that it can’t be quickly metabolized into a courageous determination to sally forth against the storm.”