How do you deal with today’s “fiery, uncertain world”? We don’t have a solution, but a new Karen Russell interview could bring a little relief. For the Rumpus, Russell spoke to Frances Yackel about love, motherhood, and her new collection, Orange World and Other Stories. “The idea of orange world is that it is the world where most of us conduct our lives, in the overlap between these states of impossible heaven and real hell. And so, I think that this, as an awning for all the stories, was appropriate. I found myself wanting, even with all of them dealing with death, grief, and anxiety, I just wanted there to be a note of hope and some feeling that even if the green world feels impossibly remote right now, even that is a place that we can all imagine ourselves into.”
“You can’t be worrying how you sound. You can’t wonder whether you or your characters are likable or smart or interesting. You have to be inside the scene—the tactile world of tables and chairs and sunlight—attending to your characters, people who exist for you in nonvirtual reality.” Paris Review editor Lorin Stein writes for The New York Times about solitude in the age of the Internet and the future of the book.
“I’m not a journalist, and I don’t pretend to be one, and most of the pieces in there were assigned to me by Harper’s, with these sort of maddening instructions of, you know, just go to a certain spot and kind of, you know, turn 350 degrees a few times and tell us what you see.” Tom Scocca posts a five-part transcript of a phone interview he did with David Foster Wallace in February 1998. (Thanks, Nick.)
Out this week: The Barefoot Queen by Ildefonso Falcones; A Stranger in My Own Country by Hans Fallada; Teresa, My Love by Julia Kristeva; an omnibus edition of John le Carré’s first three novels; Ticket to Childhood by Nguyen Nhat Anh; and a new volume of letters by Mark Twain. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview.