“Even though journalism is a good profession, for me it was very constraining. It focuses on the surface, banalities, events, and I wanted to spend a longer time talking to people in depth, and to ask them about truly important things, like love, death, and war.” This interview with Svetlana Alexievich at The Nation is fantastic. Check out our own profile/interview with Alexievich from earlier this summer.
Roberto Bolaño's "Beach," the story that has been the source of the notion that the late author was a heroin addict (since debunked in a fairly convincing fashion) has been translated into English."Science Fiction Authors That Lit Geeks Think It's Cool To Read""Top 10 US out of print books of 2008" and the heartening news that three of the books on the list will be brought back into print in 2009: Once a Runner, A Lion Called Christian, and Comanche Heart.Google now has 7 million books scanned.Put this instant classic in your stocking and save it for next year: "A hearing into the case of Rudolph, a reindeer"
"Let the buppie and the arts section go to hell: Swiss Army Man is a film by which critics ought to judge ourselves. We have seen this movie before, in our dreams, when we were children. Its extraordinary contact with our oldest forms of storytelling seems to have rendered it an unintelligible novelty, but if we can’t see how gracefully everything in it matters to everything else in it — plot to character development to dialogue to music to art direction to setting to acting to cinematography — then there’s something wrong with us." Daniel Radcliffe stars as a semi-animate, gas-filled corpse with amnesia in Swiss Army Man -- a movie about farts. But what else is it about?
Sarah Wienman, the news editor for Publisher's Marketplace, offers some great tips for aspiring literary journalists. Once you've looked them over, maybe you'll even want to pitch The Millions for our #LitBeat Tumblr feature? If so, just send me an email with the details of the event you'd like to cover.
In an excerpt of Out of Time, a new book on “the pleasures and perils of ageing,” author Lynne Segal makes a case that many iconic male writers -- among them Philip Roth, John Updike and Martin Amis -- display in their works a belief that the slow loss of virility is one of the most tragic effects of growing older for men. Citing passages from Toward the End of Time and Portnoy’s Complaint, she finds evidence that these writers' depictions of masculinity reveal “obdurate social hierarchies of gender and ageing." (Related: Keith Meatto on advice you can glean from Philip Roth’s work.)
As the publication date nears for Robert Caro's latest Lyndon Johnson installment, The Passage of Power, it's a good idea to brush up on your history of Caro's career. Enter Charles McGrath and his great portrait of one of the most prolific biographers of all time.