Over at The New York Times, Lauren Chistensen interviews Ottessa Moshfegh about her latest book, Death in Her Hands, which follows Vesta, an aging woman with a steadily fading grip on reality, whose isolation takes on new significance in today’s quarantined climate. “It isn’t so much that Vesta was alone and she went insane,” Moshfesh says. “This is a woman who chose to live in isolation to find peace toward the end of her life—and, in the process, encountered her imagination.”
Newsweek Senior Writer (and Millions contributor) Alexander Nazaryan has a new interview with William T. Vollmann up on Newsweek’s website. To start things off right, he reports that if Vollman were to win the Nobel Prize, he’d enjoy giving a decent chunk of the prize money to prostitutes.
The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye, the first book published in English, recently sold at auction for almost 2 million dollars.
Who has a bigger vocabulary: Shakespeare or André 3000? It’s actually Outkast. Data scientist Matt Daniels created an infographic that charts 85 rappers’ unique vocabulary in their first 35,000 lyrics. Outkast uses 5,212 unique words; whereas, Shakespeare only uses 5,170. But Aesop Rock beats the Bard by more than 2,000 words with a count of 7,392 unique words.
We’ve covered the Atlantic series By Heart a number of times before. It features notable authors writing about their favorite passages. In the latest edition, Mary-Beth Hughes picks out a paragraph from Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Blue Flower, about a poet who’s trying to cope with grief. Sample quote: “Reading Fitzgerald, I felt it was possible to write as I’d experienced dancing.”