In a conversation from Upstairs at the Strand, Year in Reading alumnus Junot Díaz and Hilton Als discuss masculinity, science fiction, realism and truth, and representations of Latino culture. Pair with Paul Morton’s Millions interview with Díaz.
The Millions is delighted to welcome new staff writer Il’ja Rákoš, whose deep dive into the work of László Krasznahorkai publishes today. He is the author of an essay collection in Ukrainian, Os’ Khristianska Vira, and has previous published an interview with and appreciation of Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich at the site. He lives in Kyiv.
Does being a writer make you a bad father? Matthew Norman ponders his fear at Salon. “As a fiction writer, I’m perpetually in some state of preoccupation. At any given moment, I’m suffering over people who don’t exist—who will never exist.” Maybe he should try Polly Rosenwaike’s tactic and read fiction about the opposite parent.
“One reason presidents are drawn to the genre is surely its escapism — its promise to replace impossible decisions with comforting formulas.” For The New York Times, Craig Fehrman writes about United States presidents who have a predilection for mystery novels. If you need your mystery fix too, we have a list with five crime books with female detectives.
It’s impossible to deny that memoir writing is having a bit of a moment, as more and more major books delve deeply into authors’ lives for material (here’s looking at you, Knausgaard). But what happens when memoir meets straight history? According to The Canadian Press, both genres only become more interesting. “[People] think non-fiction is just boring, fuddy-duddy history books, [but] if you look at Canadian literature right now, non-fiction is incredibly exciting.”