At Electric Literature, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer take a look at fantasy’s impact on comtemporary pop culture, in their introduction to the new collection, The Big Book of Modern Fantasy. “Fantasy becomes something of use to a writer to make a political or social statement,” they write. “It’s not just a mode, it’s a tool allowing conversation with predecessors and conversation with an often bewildering and sometimes horrifying world; it’s no surprise that absurdism and surrealism arose when they did.”
The first reviews of Zadie Smith‘s new collection of essays, Changing My Mind, are in and the general line’s a non-committal, guarded praise. I think it’s wunderkind jealousy, myself. Voici: The L.A Times review and The San Francisco Chronicle review.
As an Editor-at-Large at Interview Magazine, Christopher Bollen has talked with everyone from Joan Didion to Renata Adler to Michael Stipe. Last Friday, he became an interview subject himself, sitting down with Tom Barbash at Salon to talk about his new novel, Orient. Sample quote: “I know I’m supposed to have the young characters constantly on Snapchat and Instagram and every adult is falling asleep at night to a Netflix marathon.”