In the Guardian, our own Emily St. John Mandel talks to Hannah Beckerman about her latest novel, The Glass Hotel, as well as her novel from 2014, Station Eleven. When asked if the latter seems “worryingly prescient” now, she responded, “It doesn’t, but only because I read so much about pandemics when I was writing it. This is not to make light of pandemics at all—it’s a terrible situation—but this is just something that happens from time to time in human history. There have been pandemics before and there will be again. I think the unfortunate reality is that every few years Station Eleven will seem horribly relevant.”
Jonathan Raban intersperses biographical information about William Gaddis in order to give the correspondence collected in his recently published Letters greater context. There are ample details about the author’s travels in his young adulthood, his artistic frustrations over the publication of The Recognitions, and, of course, many details about the women in Gaddis’s life. “In letters to his mother,” Raban writes, “Gaddis liked to depict himself as someone repeatedly smitten by beautiful women.” (Bonus: “The Letters of William Gaddis contains five letters addressed to me.”
“In the new environment, science fiction writers needed new formulas – or even better, needed to have the courage to operate without pre-cooked recipes of any sort. In short, science fiction needed to grow up and take on the adult world, in all its messiness and uncertainty.” Ted Gioia pens a paean to sci-fi writers of the 1960s. Among his recommendations (including a reading list of 64 works): Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch, whose larger oeuvre is considered here.
Another response to The New Yorker‘s 20 under 40 list, this time from Dzanc Books. Dzanc polled “nearly 100 independent publishers, agents, editors, bloggers and reviewers” and went through two rounds of voting to come up with 20 Writers to Watch: An Alternate List.