“I have a theory: the thing that makes you a unique writer hasn’t got so much to do with your influences as it does with how you became a writer in the first place. I think your preferences—your obsessions—come just as much from the first sorts of things you consumed and were passionate about. Whether that’s pop music, comics, “lowbrow” fiction, soap operas, or anything else, the thing that matters most is what started you writing stories.” Amber Sparks writes about “lowbrow” influences and the many paths to becoming a storyteller in an essay for Electric Literature.
Hats off to our own Edan Lepucki for being named a Face to Watch by the LA Times! In an article, David L. Ulin says Edan’s upcoming novel is “steeped in southern California narrative tradition” and describes how a drive along Sunset Boulevard inspired the setting of the book. (You can catch up on Edan’s work by looking through her archive.)
After a long and complicated drama that played out for five years in Israeli courts, a collection of Franz Kafka and Max Brod manuscripts will be transferred to the National Library in Jerusalem. The unique circumstances at play in this case have been previously written about by Elif Batuman.
The Economist digs into the stupid “debate” over Philip Roth’s International Booker win.