“It’s a critical dilemma in my reading and writing but also a real-life dilemma in a family like mine, with Alzheimer’s in our genes: How do you locate the personhood in someone who is, for neurobiological reasons, no longer the person you knew? Is there a way to be true to medical fact and still find something that is transcendently human?” Stefan Merrill Block writes about the literature of Alzheimer’s and Matthew Thomas‘s We Are Not Ourselves, which Lisa Peet reviewed for The Millions.
“Now I wrote until near dawn, wanting a map of the literary nation, a beautiful evocation of how we are truly a nation of village and city and prairie and brownstone, of Rockies and bayous and mesas. Novels give to every reader someone else’s home. Can we not see this – we of wonder and grievance?” Susan Straight creates a map of America in 737 novels, prompting us to remember the perennial literary question: What is the greatest American novel?
On Monday, November 4th, Paul Muldoon, Colum McCann, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, and Jean Kennedy Smith will pay tribute to the recently deceased poet with a free, Off-Broadway production entitled Remembering Seamus: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney.
If you thought Bill Gates was content donating millions of dollars to charities around the world and hiding out in his exorbitantly expensive mansion compound, think again! The Microsoft founder and tech mogul reviews books on his personal blog, Gates Notes–and those reviews actually drive sales. Move over “Colbert Bump,” the Gates Bump is here to stay.
In a head-scratching piece of writing for the New Statesman, Dave Eggers (whose novel The Circle just cracked our Top Ten) reflects on a cross-country drive he took from Jeddah to Riyadh. The journey, and in particular a comment made by his chauffeur, caused Eggers to ponder the significance of his nationality, his ability to perceive danger, and the intentions of others. The short of it: Some people from other countries are nice. Who knew?