For Elle, authors Kali Fajardo-Anstine and Mieko Kawakami interviewed each other with the help of translators, discussing their books Sabrina & Corina and Breast and Eggs, as well as the importance of finding your audience. “I have had the pleasure to meet Chicanas and mixed women from Toronto to L.A. who feel as though their reality is represented in my stories,” Fajardo-Anstine says. “They tell me beautiful things: ‘I’ve never seen my family name in a story before,’ or, ‘Your work encouraged me to ask my grandma about her life.’ Some readers from more privileged backgrounds, I’ve noticed, can find my stories unrelentingly sad, while readers from communities that have experienced historic trauma often find my stories hopeful, for they bear witness to our common experiences. There’s power in documentation, even if hard to look at.”
Eric Benson interviewed Bruce Jackson about “the strange and brutal world of Southern prison farms.” Jackson, who recently published a collection entitled Inside the Wire, snapped prison photographs in Texas and Arkansas from 1964 to 1979. The images depict both the mundane and the surreal, occasionally appearing as though they were “taken from a fever dream.”
Oh, shit: looks like many of our curse words are quickly going extinct. (There is good news, however, contained in this delightful sentence: “Still, according to Sheidlower, f-bomb enthusiasts need not fret too much.”)
“He was known to step out for cigarette breaks onto a narrow ledge beyond the bedroom windows. Attached to the wall next to a door is a brass speaking tube that he used to call down for lunch.” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby house on Long Island sold for $3 million earlier this year, but you can still own a piece of him: The Washington Post reports that the four-bedroom Victorian in Minnesota where he penned the manuscript This Side of Paradise is currently listed at $625,000.
“In a just world, every single person who was in favor of invading Iraq would have to read this book. It would be tattooed on the eyes of the invasion’s architects, force them to see everything through these writers’ words.” NPR reviews Iraq + 100: Stories from Another Iraq, a collection in which 10 Iraqi authors imagine their country 100 years into the future. See also our own review of literature about the war.