Our own Hannah Gersen writes for Catapult on titling her debut novel, Home Field. As she puts it, “The idea that a title could dissuade a reader was not something I had even considered.” Pair with Bill Morris’s Millions interview with the author.
Three cheers to the return of storied magazines! This month, The Baffler and Collier’s made triumphant returns after lulls of 2 and 55 years, respectively. Meanwhile, over at Johns Hopkins Magazine, Paris Review editor Lorin Stein explains why “literary magazines still matter.” And, if you know anyone with some extra cash, they could become the next owner of Variety.
W.S. Merwin, a Hawaii-based poet born in 1927, has been named the 17th Poet Laureate of the United States. A fellow poet writes, “There is something monklike about Merwin … He is trying to achieve a contemplative distance from desire and ambition.”
In most portrayals of Cold War espionage, both Communist and capitalist spies appear wedded to their respective ideologies. Yet real spies, as the FBI knows, often have more nebulous motivations. In the Times Book Review, Ben MacIntyre reads the latest by Ha Jin, which centers on a Chinese spy embedded in suburban Virginia.
Back in May, our own Sonya Chung reviewed All That Is, the first novel in 35 years by A Sport and a Pastime author James Salter. For another viewpoint (courtesy of the LRB), check out James Meek’s assessment of the book alongside Salter’s Collected Stories.