Congrats are in order for our own Emily St. John Mandel! As of this morning, Station Eleven has made both the Bailey’s Prize longlist and the shortlist for the PEN/Faulkner prize. For more on the book, you should go read our interview with Emily.
When you’re trying to keep up with the best new writers out there, it’s easy to forget the debt we owe to the classics. So let’s go back to the beginning: Why Homer Matters, a new book by Adam Nicholson on the father of all poets, explores the question of who Homer was, and whether or not he was even one person. You could also read Frank Kovarik on the parallels between The Odyssey and Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
The editors of Apogee Journal have reserved themselves the right not to read submissions blindly. As they explain it, “Blind submissions don’t actually protect writers from the existing prejudices of editors, and they alone do not contribute to editors reading inclusively.”
Writing in The Guardian, Colm Tóibín explores the “inspiring, rivalrous, Oedipal” relationships between authors and their parents. The article’s been adapted from his forthcoming book, New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families
This week we are delighted to announce that Kate Gavino is joining The Millions as Social Media Editor! Kate is a writer, illustrator, and creator of the website Last Night’s Reading, which was compiled into a published collection by Penguin Books in 2015. Her second book, Sanpaku, was published by BOOM! Studies in August of 2018. She most recently worked as a social media editor at Brooklyn Public Library.
“Grief doesn’t only disturb life; it disturbs the way we talk about life. As myriad aspects of our existence are questioned and reexamined in the wake of a death, so too is our relationship with the language we rely on for our grief’s expression.” This track-by-track take on Sufjan Stevens’s Carrie & Lowell from The Rumpus is really just a magnificent, emotive piece on elegy.
This week Margaret Atwood tweeted a photo of her and Alice Munro drinking champagne in a “secret lair.” There’s no denying it — technology has changed the way we tell stories. Atwood and 16 other writers, from Victor LaValle to Lee Child, discussed how technology influences their work in The New York Times. “There’s nothing worse for plots than cellphones. Once your characters have one, there’s no reason for them to get lost or stranded,” Rainbow Rowell said.