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.”
Sherlock Holmes has solved his greatest mystery yet. It only took 125 years, but Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective is in the public domain. A federal judge has ruled that all Sherlock Holmes stories published before January 1, 1923 are no longer under U.S. copyright law.
“Samuel Greenberg belongs in the pantheon of literary manqués,” writes Jacob Silverman. The poet was a favorite of Hart Crane, who described him as “a Rimbaud in embryo.” But did Crane take his adoration too far? Did he in fact “remix,” re-purpose, or plagiarize some of Greenberg’s work?
Urmila Seshagiri writes for Public Books about Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words in its original Italian. As she explains it, “the dual-language Italian-English format literalizes the very ‘separazione totale’ that is In altre parole’s subject, reminding us, page by page, of potential losses.” Pair with Hannah Gersen’s Millions review of the book.
Lots of new books out this week: Where Mortals Sleep, previously unpublished short fiction by Kurt Vonnegut, with a foreword by Dave Eggers; A Life, one of what will be several biographies of J.D. Salinger arriving over the next couple of years; Stanley Fish tells us How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One; Brian Greene introduced the masses to string theory with The Elegant Universe, and now he’s back with The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos; Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge is out in paperback; and finally, from Penguin Classics, The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime: Forgotten Cops and Private Eyes from the Time of Sherlock Holmes.
“But writers and runners know that when you settle into a long-distance run or hit your stride with the work, something other than your body takes over.” For LitHub, our own Nick Ripatrazone writes about the similarities between long-distance running and writing. Pair with: an essay on the poetics of running.
Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review, talks to Noah Charney about his life, his work, and his taste in books. Answers are typical but insightful, with one incredibly colorful exception: Tanenhaus’s ideal workplace is bizarre. (Hint: The atmosphere falls somewhere between a nuclear fallout shelter and the kind of place you would keep a hostage and it’s nothing like where we write.)