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 week, I pointed readers to a speech by the late James Salter, reprinted by The Paris Review Daily in tribute to the writer after his death. For a fan appreciation, you can read Kevin Lincoln in Hazlitt, who leads his piece with the observation that Salter “wrote sentences you could unfold into paper lanterns.” Pair with our own Sonya Chung’s review of Salter’s All That Is.
Need some inspiration? These quotes from Joan Didion are sure to make your day. Picked by noted Ayn Rand scholar Mallory Ortberg, they include such gems as “I’m from Sacramento, but it’s honestly not a big deal” and “California doesn’t remind me of the apocalypse at all.”
Out this week: Black Glass by Karen Joy Fowler; The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera; The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler; The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George; The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango; Tradition by Daniel Khalastchi; and Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great 2015 Book Preview.