Recent Year in Reading alum Rebecca Makkai writes about the difference between publishing your first book and your second book for Ploughshares. Let’s just say it’s the difference between champagne and “all the whiskey.” Pair with Zhanna Slor‘s Millions interview with Makkai in which they discuss that second book, The Hundred-Year House.
“Her only ‘crime’ has been that she has used her ‘freedom of speech’ to attract attention to injustice, because her conscience will not allow her to remain silent.” A campaign calls for the release of Aslı Erdoğan, an acclaimed Turkish novelist currently being held by her government on nebulous charges. Also did you know: our own editor-in-chief, Lydia Kiesling, speaks Turkish?
“I never started out as a children’s book artist. What is a children’s-book artist? A moron! Some ugly fat pip-squick of a person who can’t be bothered to grow up. That’s the way we’re treated in the adult world of publishing.” The Believer interviews the late Maurice Sendak, who passed away last May.
For the first time in the history of The Morning News’ Tournament of Books, the longlist of all the titles under consideration has been published. From these titles, 16 will emerge for the literary throwdown in March.
Does reading a novel for a few hours make you feel smarter? You’re not alone: a new study suggests that reading novels heightens activity in the left temporal cortex, also known as the part of the brain associated with receptivity to language. The best part? The changes last for five days.
Jon McGregor has won the International Impac Dublin Literary Award, otherwise known as the richest literary prize in all the land*, for his novel Even the Dogs. To check out the rest of the pool, you can revisit our coverage of both the long and shortlist for the prize. (McGregor’s tweet about this whole affair was pretty grand, by the way.) [*Ed note: a reader in the comments below has disputed this claim.]