Out this week: Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice McFadden; French Exit by Patrick deWitt; Housegirl by Michael Donkor; We That Are Young by Preti Taneja; and Essential Essays by the late Adrienne Rich.
Year in Reading alumna Sarah Manguso writes about motherhood, writing, and the disintegration of the self in a moving essay for Harper’s. As she puts it, “I want to read books that were written in desperation, by people who are disturbed and overtaxed, who balance on the extreme edge of experience. I want to read books by people who are acutely aware that death is coming and that abiding love is our last resort.” Pair with Jaime Green’s Millions review of Manguso’s Ongoingness: The End of a Diary.
Most writers, unless they’re lucky enough to have an ideal place in which to work, make do with the best space available. For Colum McCann’s father, the shed in his backyard, which “always smelled damp inside, as if the rain rose up out of the carpet,” sufficed for the fiction he wrote after coming home from work. At Page-Turner, the National Book Award winner and Year in Reading alum remembers his father’s retreat.
“Everything on the surface of the world is so chaotic right now, so there’s a desire to access a place that’s more uncharted.” The New York Times profiles author Melissa Broder and her new novel, The Pisces (which was part of our Great 2018 Book Preview).
At The Wilmington Star News, a round-up of the news coverage of the suicide of The Virginia Quarterly Review‘s managing editor, Kevin Morrissey, and the accusations that Morrissey’s boss, Ted Genoways, the wunderkind editor-in-chief of VQR, may have played a role in the suicide. In the wake of this sad controversy, the University of Virginia has shut down the 85-year-old journal, pending an internal investigation.