“For obit writers, the whole world is necessarily divided into the dead and the pre-dead. That’s all there is.” The Paris Review interviews Margalit Fox, a senior writer for The New York Times, on the complicated art of obituaries.
Good news for you! If you’re a creative person, you’re “no more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders than other people.” Bad news for your family! If you’re a creative person, you’re “more likely to have a close relative with a disorder, including anorexia and, to some extent, autism.”
“It’s rough out there for artists and writers right now, I know. There are days when you just want to throw in the towel, say fuck it, fake your own death, give insurance fraud a go, and live out of a Winnebago somewhere in remote Ontario. That’s a good plan—that’s a really good plan—but remember, you’ve got options.” The Paris Review considers the life of artist Reuben Kadish, who bought a disused dairy farm, made it a viable business in a decade’s time, and changed his medium from painting to sculpture in the process.
For those of us who refuse to trade in the typewriter, however, there’s always our popular piece on how to write a novel.
Recommended reading: Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy, writes for The Atlantic about the “surreal journey” of publishing three novels in one year. Pair with VanderMeer’s Millions interview with Richard House.
New this week: How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball; I Am No One by Patrick Flanery; The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon; The Trap by Melanie Raabe; Absalom’s Daughters by Suzanne Feldman; The Dream Life of Astronauts by Patrick Ryan; and Angels of Detroit by Christopher Hebert.
Recommended reading: Meg Wolitzer wonders “why are teenage girls drawn to books about mental instability?“