Need some more Canadian literature in your life? The Walrus asked several authors to pick their favorite books of the year. Among their selections are The Betrayers, a novel by Year in Reading alum David Bezmozgis, and Wallflowers, the recent collection of stories by Eliza Robertson. Pair with: Andrew Saikali on Canadian novellas.
Recommended reading: The Awl takes a look at the “attempt to create a completely logical, absolutely universal language,” which goes about as well as you’d expect (read: not very).
“Ghosts are just the fucked-up dead.” This interview with David Mitchell on the release of his spooky new novel Slade House is a perfect Halloween read. We interviewed Mitchell this same time last year in conjunction with the publication of The Bone Clocks.
Recommended Reading: J. M. Tyree’s new story at Guernica. “There’s a man on the bus sitting directly in front of you. He has a small brown spider crawling across his red shirt, near his left shoulder blade.” You could also watch our episode of The Book Report on Our Secret Life in the Movies by Tyree and Michael McGriff.
“On the surface ‘The Lady with the Little Dog’ is a love story,” writes Elliott Holt in a blog post for The Missouri Review. “[It’s] a romantic one at that, but it’s also about the tension between the person we show the world and the one we keep to ourselves. The older I get, the more the story resonates with me.”
Anna Sun profiles the work of Mo Yan, the latest winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. While Sun acknowledges Yan’s popularity and prolific output, she also notes that what the Nobel committee referred to as “hallucinatory prose” is more often than not “repetitive, predictable, coarse, and mostly devoid of aesthetic value.” Indeed, Sun writes, “the English translations of Mo Yan’s novels … are in fact superior to the original.” [Ed. Note: It appears the Kenyon Review link was briefly not working; this Google cache may work better — h/t Dan Farrely]