In her “By the Book” interview with the New York Times, author Sarah M. Broom discusses the importance of allowing Black writers to write with a sense of boundlessness. “I wish (and I know this was not the question, exactly) for the day when Black writers — especially women — are free to write whatever in the world they want,” Broom says. “And are fairly paid for the thing they wrote. Am thinking so much these days of Toni Morrison’s apt quotation: ‘The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.’ I am looking for intellectual boundlessness in my own work.”
Year in Reading alumna Ottessa Moshfegh has a new story in this week’s issue of the New Yorker, titled “The Beach Boy.” Moshfegh also spoke with Deborah Treisman about her writing: “Isn’t it hilarious when people are blind to their own arrogance? For some, no amount of American liberal-arts education, charitable contributions, or hours spent listening to NPR will ever wake them up to their own privileged, bigoted, and classist attitudes. […] One might say that New Yorkers like the folks in ‘The Beach Boy’ are especially susceptible to the kind of stupidity I love to write about—the stupidity of entitlement.”
“Why do we lust for lists?” Sandra M. Gilbert may not have an answer, but she does have a response to all those “100 Best American Novels” lists (and a list of her own). The Millions has a few lists too, of course – be sure to check out Janet Potter‘s “28 Books You Should Read If You Want To.”
Out this week: Beatlebone by Kevin Barry; Memory Theater by Simon Critchley; Bright Scythe: Selected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer; Charmed Particles by Chrissy Kolaya; and This Old Man by Roger Angell. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview.