Author Angie Cruz started the Instagram account, Dominicanas NYC, when she couldn’t find photos of 1960s Dominican working-class women while researching her novel Dominicana. Cruz spoke to the Cut about this community-driven project that shares photos and stories of Dominican women from across the country. “I’m interested in writing about the working class, which is often under-documented,” she says. “What’s documented is what we see in the papers, about politicians, or people who have power, or crime. My family was in NYC in the ’70s, but for Dominicana, I was interested in writing about 1965. That was the year the U.S. occupied D.R. It was the year Malcolm X was shot across from the building I grew up in [in Washington Heights.] I wanted to bring all these historical moments together and show how, even if they’re different stories and movements, they’re all interconnected.”
We have a lot of prizes that honor well-crafted first novels. But what about the second novel, which is far more likely to be ignored? Herewith, Dan Kois announces that Slate is teaming up with the Whiting Foundation to produce We Second That, a list of under-recognized second novels from the past five years. You could also read our own Bill Morris on the golden age of the second novel.
“Recent research has shown that messy, dark, noisy, booze-filled environments like the one Fitzgerald cultivated at La Paix can, in fact, help stimulate creativity.” The Atlantic reports on the importance of environment for creativite work and / or gives you an excuse to live like Fitzgerald.
Francine Prose has an idiosyncratic theory that the Hindu god Ganesh is a vital part of her writing process. In a VQR essay, she explains that her portrait of the deity (which she purchased forty years ago at a bazaar in Mumbai) gives her a kind of confidence that goes beyond superstition. As support for this belief, she points out that Ganesh is known in some quarters as “the writer’s god.”