At The New York Times, MJ Franklin profiles Houston-based author Bryan Washington and notes there is a theme of preservation running through Washington’s debut novel, Memorial. “The book preserves Houston and Osaka. It preserves the feeling of being young and lost. It preserves the food that gives us comfort and nourishment and purpose,” he writes. “But there is one thing Washington doesn’t want to preserve: the limited path for writers like him. He wants to evolve it.” Washington hopes that his upcoming novel, which was featured in our October Most Anticipated list, will create space for more unique stories. “Ideally, it’ll kick the stone a little further down the line for books that don’t hit quite down the middle of obvious marketability. And the next person will be able to work on their weird thing, and so will the folks after them.”
“But now that my first book of poems has come out, I’ve become increasingly aware of the challenge of writing a good inscription to a reader. As soon as I’ve got the pen in my hand, I become the most unoriginal message-writer on the planet.” On a little-known gripe about book signings.
The University of Texas, Austin, is opening its acquired manuscripts of David Foster Wallace’s private papers, books, stories, and essays to the public. Previews of Wallace’s marked-up copies of books by DeLillo, Borges, and Updike are available on its website. (via New York Times)
Pew Internet finds that tablet and e-reader ownership nearly doubled over the holiday gift-giving period 29% of Americans now own at least one of these digital reading devices. Meanwhile, the content producers keep rushing in, with NBC Universal launching an e-book arm and Apple’s textbook scheme netting 350,000 downloads in three days.
“Life is weird and dumb and restrictive, but a poem can be whatever the hell you want it to be for god’s sake. Other people will always have opinions, they’re just really none of my business.” In an interview at the Lit Hub, Tommy Pico talks about poetry and his creative process.