John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats fame has a debut novel, Wolf in White Van, longlisted for the National Book Award, and Dwight Garner reviews the “strange and involving” novel for The New York Times.
Parentheses aren't just the mark of a lazy or verbose writer. They can also bracket personal pain in a narrative. At The New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey explores the power of the parenthetical detail, such as Lolita's "My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three." Pair with: Vulture's "The 5 Best Punctuation Marks in Literature."
"By now, you are probably asking yourself, Did these two ever talk about anything serious? Of course, we did. We talked about how writing a poem is no different from taking out a frying pan and concocting a dish out of the ingredients available in the house, how in poetry, as in cooking, it’s all a matter of subtle little touches that come from long experience or are the result of sudden inspiration." Charles Simic writes movingly about his friend, the late poet Mark Strand, and their various schemes, from buying palazzos to founding a gastronomic poetry movement, for The New York Review of Books.
Joshua Cohen’s new novel has gotten a lot of attention for its odd relationship with Internet culture. In The New Republic, he talks with Gideon Lewis-Kraus in a Gchat, explaining his view that “it’s time writing took something back from the Internet.” Pair with Cohen’s Millions interview from 2012.