At the Guardian, David McNeill profiles author Mieko Kawakami, whose recently translated novel, Breasts and Eggs, has shaken the world of Japanese literature with its fresh viewpoint. “I try to write from the child’s perspective—how they see the world,” Kawakami says. “Coming to the realization that you’re alive is such a shock. One day, we’re thrown into life with no warning. And at some point, every one of us will die. It’s very hard to comprehend. We often talk about death being absolute, but I can’t help but think that being born is no less final.”
Last year, I pointed readers to Numero Cinq, a new Canadian lit mag with a notably memorable tagline. In the latest issue, which is split into seventeen parts, Benjamin Woodard talks with Lydia Davis about her Flaubert translation, her new story collection and the art of writing while traveling. (h/t The Rumpus)
It’s time to recognize tarot’s place in literature. Peter Bebergal writes on Jessa Crispin’s latest project, The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life.
“He sat on a shelf of our one-roomed apartment for a while, and then one day when I was sitting in front of my typewriter staring at a blank sheet of paper wondering what to write, I idly tapped out the words ‘Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform. In fact, that was how he came to have such an unusual name for a bear, for Paddington was the name of the station.’ It was a simple act, and in terms of deathless prose, not exactly earth shattering, but it was to change my life considerably. … Without intending it, I had become a children’s author.” Michael Bond, creator of the Paddington Bear series, has died at 91, reports NPR. We’d like to think that Bond might have appreciated our own Jacob Lambert‘s series, “Are Picture Books Leading Children Astray?” – in particular this entry questioning the moral fiber of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.