At Lit Hub, Claudia Rankine discusses her newest book, Just Us: An American Conversation, with Catherine Barnett, explaining how it does not seek out easy answers. “Just Us might be a desperately seeking conversation,” Rankine says. “I don’t want to suggest these interactions are conversations seeking answers but rather something more like conversations in search of a shared place for understanding, a shared reality, shared recognitions. The desperation has to do with a kind of historical misalignment before the conversation begins. The question becomes: Can we get aligned so we can actually have the conversation? Just Us, for me, often feels like the conversation to the conversation.”
Call it the Eat, Pray, Love effect for the nature lover. Cheryl Strayed fans are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after being inspired by Wild. Strayed says she’s received more than 1,000 emails from people ready to lace up their hiking boots, but a trail information specialist says he’s only seen six women make the full trek.
George Saunders shares his thoughts on writing his first full-length novel, the forthcoming Lincoln in the Bardo. As he puts it, “It’s like when you’re writing your first book, and you’re trying to figure out what kind of writer you are. This was like that.” Pair with our own Elizabeth Minkel’s piece on Saunders and the question of literary greatness.
Brittany Oliver listed the “6 Most Influential Women Writers You’ve Never Heard Of” for PolicyMic, and she’s right. I’ve only heard of two of them.
“‘It’s important to realize how the funniness in these videos [such as those featuring Kai the axe-wielding hitchhiker and Uncle Ruslan] is really close to something that’s desperately unfunny,’ says Mark O’Connell, who wrote Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever.”