Yiyun Li spoke to Rosemarie Ho at the Nation about her most recent book, Where Reasons End, a novel that many critics are labeling autofiction. When describing the process of writing the book, Li sees herself as more of an impartial reporter than a novelist. “You can never get as precise as you want in writing,” Li says. “It’s always just getting as close as you can. For me, precision in writing is one of the most important things. But again, I always have to acknowledge at some point that I can never get as close as I want, that I can only get a proximity to precision.”
This piece on the limited language of David Lynch from Dennis Lim over at The New Yorker is a fascinating journey into the mind of the peculiar auteur behind such gems as Eraserhead and Twin Peaks. Lynch will be publishing what he has called a “quasi-memoir” sometime in 2017.
How do you describe the life and times of John Horne Burns? He was in turn a military intelligence officer, a schoolteacher, a critical darling after he published The Gallery, a pariah after he published anything else, and a gay man in post-WWII America. In characteristic concision, Ernest Hemingway summed the whole thing up thusly: “There was a fellow who wrote a fine book and then a stinking book about a prep school, and then he just blew himself up.”
As Nick Richardson notes for the London Review of Books, Saul Bellow’s son, Adam, has his hands full these days. When he’s not maintaining a site devoted to conservative “literature,” he’s extolling the virtues of conservative fiction writers you “probably have never heard of — and won’t, if the powers that rule the lit-crit, fanfic, and commercial publishing worlds have anything to say about it.”