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.”
Any writer who has felt the sting of rejection—that is, all writers—will be inspired by the story of Dick Wimmer, who has died at the age of 74. Over the course of 25 years, a total of 162 agents and publishers rejected Wimmer’s first novel, Irish Wine, before it was finally published by Mercury House in 1989. The New York Times called it a “taut, finely written, exhaustingly exuberant first novel.” The L.A. Times invoked James Joyce in its review. Wimmer, the iron man of the rejection wars, went on to publish two sequels, Boyne’s Lassie and Hagar’s Dream (All three books are now available in a single volume from Soft Skull.) The moral of Wimmer’s story? Never give up.
“This is what set Geeshie and Elvie apart even from the rest of an innermost group of phantom geniuses of the ’20s and ’30s. Their myth was they didn’t have anything you could so much as hang a myth on.” John Jeremiah Sullivan investigates more mysterious musicians in The New York Times Magazine. Bonus: You can listen to their music as you read. For more of Sullivan’s music journalism, read his piece on the origins of ska.
“People in the publishing industry were complaining that ‘everyone is a writer now.’ I thought, well, why fight that? Isn’t that a good thing?” Andy Hunter, Publisher & COO of Catapult, Publisher of Literary Hub, and Co-Founding Chairman of Electric Literature, talks about the impetus for his three ventures.