Out this week: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid; South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion; All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg; Ill Will by Dan Chaon; The Accusation by Bandi; The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge; and American Berserk by our own Bill Morris. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.
Are critically acclaimed authors really terrible? Is feminism bad for women? New York Magazine runs down the greatest hits of what appears, in hindsight, to have been the Decade of Counterintuition (and, in the process, catalogues many of my personal bêtes noires).
“I’ve learned that people—writers and non-writers alike—don’t like that word. Failure…. I take a bizarre pleasure, now, in using that word. Maybe because during my decade as a failed writer, the one thing that took the edge off was wallowing in that failure—carefully, in a proscribed fashion, like having a drink when you’re still hungover.” Stephanie Feldman writes for Vol. 1 Brooklyn about being a literary failure, about the two books she wrote and never published, and about the one she finally did. Pair with the stories of these 5 writers and their failed “novels in drawers.”
“On the other hand, I do spend endless hours mulling over the mystery of what others like. Again and again the question arises: How can they?” Tim Parks asks us why we enjoy reading what we read at The New York Review of Books. For Millions readers’ favorites, check out October’s Top 10.
Last February, everyone was talking about Lawrence Wright‘s epic New Yorker profile of Paul Haggis and The Church of Scientology. But now, as The New York Times reports, the Church has released Freedom, a 51-page retaliatory glossy with DVD accompaniment.
The New York Times is broadening its book coverage by adding more staffers and launching three new features: a literary advice column, a weekly Q&A about writing processes, and a column looking at “contemporary issues through the lens of recent and historical books.”
On their Tumblr, Little Fiction is previewing some of the books being released in 2014-2015 by authors they’ve recently worked with. Meanwhile, Chad Post put together “Le Translation Preview” to promote some international work being published this July. Think of both lists as complementary compendiums to our Great Second-Half 2014 Book Preview.