In a piece for Public Books Rebecca Steinitz reviews some recent historical novels, including The Luminaries and The Invention of Wings, and argues that the best historical fiction “plunges the reader wholly into the past, enlightening and entertaining us, while also making us reflect on our present, in history and in literature.” Pair her piece with Laila Lalami‘s account of “How History Becomes Story.”
At Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellogg talks with Jonathan Lethem about his new novel Chronic City “I love to dwell in the space of a novel — I don’t find writing uncomfortable, it’s something I really love doing. Writing a long novel, especially, it means that I’m creating this whole other set of people that I’m interested in, and this whole other world I get to go into, and I try to stay there. I try to go every day, not just to see the word count amass, which is helpful, but because then my subconscious is kind of living there.”
Over at Catapult, Lynn Steger Strong writes on writing a novel that readers will read. As she puts it, “I was trying to explore the specific experience of living in the world while also living largely, sometimes to one’s own detriment, inside of books, inside one’s head.” Also check out this Millions piece, featuring six writers looking back on their first novels.
“A month ago, I touched a lock of Sylvia Plath’s hair.” At Tin House, Emma Komlos-Hrobsky examines the relationship between the late poet and her fans.
Will anyone read Chuck Klosterman in a hundred years? Jonathan Russell Clark explores the possibility over at The Literary Hub: “What fate awaits the author of books so rooted in a given era? Can the accomplishment of capturing now remain significant or noteworthy forever? Will anyone read Klosterman in the future? And if they do, how will they read him?” In the mood for more JRC? How about his essay on the art of the first sentence?