“Is it possible to keep an octopus in a private home?” “Are Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates the same person?” Oh, the things people have asked reference librarians.
In a 6,000 word essay for The Point, founding editor Jon Baskin wades into the personal and professional psychodrama of the Franzen-Wallace friendship. Beneath the public surface, finds deep questions about the "novel of the self," the "novel of society," and the life worth living.
In a New York Times op-ed piece on violence in children's literature, Maria Tatar claims that "the savagery we offer children today is more unforgiving than it once was." Is that really the case? Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark And Grimm (reviewed by the Times last November), which underscores the violence inherent in Grimm's tales, can be read as a counterpoint.
Does it come as any surprise that Lost creator J.J. Abrams would write a book that his editor describes as "the most high concept novel I have ever come across"?
Out this week: M Train by Patti Smith; Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell; 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories edited by Lorrie Moore; The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks; The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra; Death by Water by Kenzaburō Ōe; and Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview.
"Fantasy is a tool of the storyteller. It is a way of talking about things that are not, and cannot be, literally true. It is a way of making our metaphors concrete, and it shades into myth in one direction, allegory in another." Neil Gaiman reviews Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant for the New York Times Book Review and considers the power, and risks, of fantasy. Pair with Ishiguro's talk with The Telegraph about the 10 years since the publication of Never Let Me Go.