As our own Nick Moran reported two weeks ago, Alice Munro has decided to retire from writing. Herewith, a timely profile of the author, courtesy of the Times. (You could also read Ben Dolnick on her last book of stories, Dear Life.)
Have we entered into the age of New Modernism? Better yet, what does “New Modernism” even mean? Let regular Millions contributor Jonathan Russell Clark explain it to you in his essay for LitHub on George Saunders, Alexandra Kleeman, and experimental feeling. This Millions review of Gabriel Josipovici’s What Ever Happened to Modernism? is particularly relevant.
“I am not influenced by books. Instead, I am shaped by them. I am made of flesh and bone and blood. I am also made of books. ” Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State, which we reviewed here, and Bad Feminist, takes a new, thoughtful spin on a Facebook trend in an essay for BuzzFeed.
As literary apprenticeships go, it’s hard to beat a chance to live with Doris Lessing. In 1963, not long after the death of Sylvia Plath, Jenny Diski moved in with the future Nobel laureate, who lived just north of King’s Cross in London at the time. In the LRB, Diski recounts her friendship with the novelist.
There are plenty of new books to this week to fill that post-election void: Both Flesh and Not: Essays, a posthumously published collection from David Foster Wallace; Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior; Prosperous Friends by Christine Schutt; Magnificence by Lydia Millet; and These Things Happen, a debut by longtime TV writer Richard Kramer. From the indies, we have The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets by Diana Wagman and Keyhole Factory by William Gillespie. Also out are Philip Pullman’s new version of Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm; Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks; and a big new Michael Jackson biography by a former Rolling Stone editor.