You may have heard that Jess Row has a new book on shelves. The plot follows a man who undergoes a surgical procedure to change his race. In an interview at Guernica, the author talks to Grace Bello about writing and race, teaching in Hong Kong and what it means to grow up in Baltimore. You could also read the author’s Year in Reading entry.
“We live in a time of image explosion, but without that network images are just content. There’s simply no possibility of a viral digital success—a ‘Call Me Maybe‘ of painting or photography—because a work only becomes successful upon its art world approbation.”
Ahead of the release of Imperial Bedrooms, Vice has an interview with Bret Easton Ellis. “All my friends moved to Brooklyn. The only people I know in Manhattan are rich, and it just seems like, you know, the party was fun, but it’s kind of over for me. LA seemed to be the place to land.”
Recommended Listening: Margaret Atwood on her new novel – one of the most anticipated books of 2015, and the fall of realistic fiction. As she explains it, “when there’s perceived instability that’s happening you can’t write [a so-called realistic] novel and have people believe it.”
“In spite of herself, the writer has remained loyal. She is loyal to place and the past, faithfully and perpetually reconstructing it, so that no one, having read her, would ever again say, ‘What’s so interesting about small-town rural Canada?’” On a new book of selected stories by Alice Munro.
“Melville fell in love with the dashingly handsome older author the first time they met, and his forbidden passion drove him to create the symbol of impossible longing that now represents American literature to the rest of the world: the white whale.” On Herman Melville’s love for Nathaniel Hawthorne. Pair with a review of Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun.