“But poems are not poems if they make people feel dead. I want people to feel alive – even if it is alive with grief.” The Guardian profiles poet Danez Smith about poetry; race, gender, and queerness; and their poetry collection, Don’t Call Us Dead (a finalist for the National Book Award). Pair with: an essay on writing that gives shape and depth to victims of criminal injustice.
E. V. De Cleyre explores the right moment to end a nonfiction story. She writes that life rarely offers conclusions, and “dealing with actual occurrences often means there is no definitive end, and even if there were (such as a death), there comes the aftermath—the grief, the coping, the rebuilding.” Pair with Sonya Chung’s Millions essay on literary endings.
Did David Foster Wallace predict our anxiety over selfies? At The Wire, Danielle Wiener-Bronner argues that Wallace was prescient in Infinite Jest. Although videophony, his concept of video-chatting, isn’t the same thing as a selfie, the paranoia over looking good is strikingly current. “This sort of appearance check was no more resistible than a mirror. But the experience proved almost universally horrifying. People were horrified at how their own faces appeared on a TP screen.”
My nominee for this round has been posted at the LBC blog. Though it didn’t grab my cohorts enough to be named our “Read This” pick, I do highly recommend it.I recently happened upon bookride, a blog by a rare book dealer that each day posts about a valuable book, explaining why the book is collectible and why it’s worth what it is. Fascinating stuff. A recent post looks at a rare copy of The Waste Land.Simon at Bloggasm rounded up a bunch tributes to Kurt Vonnegut including a slightly modified version of my post from last week.
Out this week: Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving; Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos; Numero Zero by Umberto Eco; The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild; Wherever There Is Light by Peter Golden; City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcón; and The Mare by Mary Gaitskill (who we interviewed today). For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview.
Amazon has refreshed its line of Kindles once again. The price point on a basic version that utilizes Wi-Fi has dropped way down to $139. Opt for the 3G version and the price is $189. The device now boasts better contrast, less glare in sunlight, and it now comes in a new color: “graphite.”