“Her design captures the simultaneous violence and sensuality in Machado’s work, in which women’s bodies both desire and disappear in fantastical and disturbing ways.” Electric Literature interviews Carmen Maria Machado and cover designer Kimberly Glyder about their collaboration on Her Body and Other Parties, which is a National Book Award for Fiction finalist. See also: The Millions interview with Machado on her debut collection.
Can’t wait for Haruki Murakami’s new novel? You’re in luck: Slate just published an exclusive excerpt from the book. Sample quote: “No matter how quiet and conformist a person’s life seems, there’s always a time in the past when they reached an impasse. A time when they went a little crazy. I guess people need that sort of stage in their lives.” (You could also read Ben Dooley’s review of 1Q84.)
For The Guardian, Rafia Zakaria writes on the new wave of confessional “feminist” memoirs. As she puts it, “We’re on an uncomfortable tightrope between a bold new dialogue about women and sex, and the monetisation of that conversation by powers that recognise that as a gap in the market.” Pair with this Millions essay on feminist pop anthems.
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.
Coulrophobes take heed! You’re not scared of clowns because they’re inherently dark, or even because you caught a few minutes of Stephen King’s IT on television. In fact, you probably owe your fear of clowns to a fellow named Joseph Grimaldi, the “Homo erectus of clown evolution.” When this progenitor died in 1837, a young Charles Dickens “was charged with editing his memoirs.” The resulting portrait, relays Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, was what ultimately “water[ed] the seeds in popular imagination of the scary clown.”
In more “Dylan at 70” news, the knowledgeable Ed Ward reviews the compilation How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan for The Oxford American. (Editor’s Note: The omission from this album of Nina Simone‘s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” and Ben E. King‘s “Lay Lady Lay” are both unconscionable.)