Literature and fashion have a long history of inspiring each other, as seen in a list compiled by Jessica Heron-Langton for Dazed magazine. Mary Shelley, Anthony Burgess, Stephen King, and H.G. Wells: these authors’ books have inspired various fashion collections in recent decades. It’s no surprise that Virginia Woolf‘s Orlando, in particular, seems to have inspired many a designer. “Woolf’s novel has gone on to become a cultural touchstone, notably in the LGBTQ+ community. With its extensive timespan and gender-fluid approach to fashion, a number of designers have looked to the book for inspiration. From Ann Demeulemeester and her AW07 collection to Christopher Bailey for his AW16 Burberry show, there is also Rei Kawakubo who has dedicated both her SS20 men and womenswear shows to the novel as part of a three-part project.”
I’ve written before about By Heart, a series at The Atlantic in which authors write short pieces about their favorite passages in literature. This week, our own Edan Lepucki — whose new novel you may have heard about thanks to Stephen Colbert — writes about the metaphors in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. (FYI, Margaret Atwood wrote a Year in Reading entry for The Millions.)
Perhaps inspired by the similarly-named astronomer, Freeman Dyson wrote an entry for the NYT’s By the Book series, in which he praises Edward Wilson, Kristin Ghodsee, Robert Kanigel and Octavia Butler, the last of whom he dubs his favorite novelist of all time. Sample quote: “The Magic City can be read on two levels, as a children’s adventure story and as a critique of modern society. Karl Marx was a friend of [Edith] Nesbit’s family.”
Does it come as any surprise that Lost creator J.J. Abrams would write a book that his editor describes as “the most high concept novel I have ever come across“?
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been announced! Winners for 2016 are Viet Thanh Nguyen for his novel, The Sympathizer and Sally Mann for Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs. You could also read Nguyen’s Year in Reading.
If you’ve been on the Internet at any point in the last few weeks, you’re probably aware that Twin Peaks is coming back. The seminal (and seminally weird) show by David Lynch will return for nine episodes in 2016. At The Nervous Breakdown, Joshua Lyons explains what the show meant to him, with the help of visual proof that he copied Bobby Briggs’s hair.