Carve out some time to watch all forty-five minutes of Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s recent “Between the Lines” conversation if you want to find out why Americanah qualifies as Adichie’s “fuck you” book. (You can also just skip to the 16:16 mark if you’re unable to carve out enough time.)
…meanwhile, quondam neighbor Jonathan Lethem has packed up for California (to take over the Pomona College position last held by David Foster Wallace). Just in time for Halloween, he raps with New York Magazine about the move…and about his new, book-length treatment of John Carpenter‘s They Live.
In random-but-awesome news, Geoff Manaugh‘s BLDGBLOG reports on a new project by Dutch earth scientists to piece together what they’re calling an “atlas of the underworld.” Using CT scans to visualize “invisible landscape features—the ghostly remains of entire continents—hidden inside the planet,” the project will reveal a surface within earth’s surface. See also: our review of Where You Are, an anthology of sixteen alternative maps by a range of artists and writers including Geoff Dyer, Valeria Luiselli, and Leanne Shapton.
“Of course, his word-pictures don’t define the art of poetry—nor are they meant to. In part they exemplify it; in part provide a warning that such an art eludes straightforward setting out in words.” On Horace’s and Archibald MacLeish’s Ars Poetica.
Why are Americans so enamored by immigrant fiction but rarely read anything in translation? David Naimon and Gary Shteyngart discuss this and more in the latest Between The Covers podcast. Shteyngart’s latest book, Little Failure, was part of our 2014 book preview.