In Preparation for the Next Life, Atticus Lish showcased his ability to write brutal, unforgiving stories in terse, economical prose. This new short story from Granta is no different (and no less beautiful).
In the late fifties, an old flame of Samuel Beckett, Ethna MacCarthy, fell ill and died of throat cancer in Dublin. Around this time, female voices began to enter Beckett’s work, which up until that point had featured almost exclusively male characters. Was there a connection? In a review of a new edition of Beckett’s letters, Fintan O’Toole suggests that there was. You could also read Elizabeth Winkler on the author’s bilingual oeuvre.
“Then there’s the no-one-reads-anymore hysteria, the lack of supportive careers for apprenticing writers, the MFA deathtrap, etc. It feels self-indulgent as a critic to say, ‘But the whole critical structure has broken down, let’s talk about that.’ The critic only comes into play when the books are actually produced and put onto the market, meaning their jobs are tied into this whole decaying, rotting mess of an industry.” Jessa Crispin writes on the self-hating book critic.
In the NYRB, a new article on Chris Ware, accompanied by an old joke — dreamt up by none other than Gore Vidal — that a hypothetical New York Review of Comic Books might replace its eponymous predecessor. Last week, our own Mark O’Connell reviewed Mr. Ware’s latest book.
Tournament of Books fans: The official Tournament of Books bracket has been posted. Along with an introduction to this year’s literary throwdown, readers can get a gorgeous bracket poster, sure to become the decorative centerpiece of any library wall.