At the Los Angeles Times, Isabel Allende discusses her new memoir, The Soul of a Woman, and how she finds value at every stage of her life. “Instead of pretending we are forever adolescents, we will give each stage in life its own value and place in society,” Allende says, “I don’t have advice for other people but I can say what works for me and for the best old people I know: purpose. Age isolates us. We have to fight that. Be engaged in the world, your community and family. Have purpose.”
Sometimes, in a narrative, it’s necessary to focus on one scene, in one place, for as long as one possibly can. In his new graphic novel, Here, Richard McGuire takes this to an extreme, setting the entirety of the story in one corner of a character’s living room. In the Times, Dwight Garner reviews the new book.
Serious reading is harder than ever. With so many distractions around, it’s incredibly difficult for a novel to keep our attention. In The Nation, Joanna Scott makes a case that careful reading is in danger, and builds a case for preserving difficult fiction. You could also read our own Nick Ripatrazone on trying to teach Thomas Pynchon.
“The peace may be holding, but the process is faltering,” writes Colum McCann, forty years after the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, in his evaluation of Ireland’s present relationship with the “Troubles.” “It is, of course, naïve to expect total reconciliation,” he continues. “Some grievances are so deep that the people who suffered them will never be satisfied. But the point is not satisfaction — the point is that the present is superior to the past, and it has to be cultivated as such.”
J.K. Rowling’s new play will not, as everyone had imagined, be a prequel to the Harry Potter series. Instead, it will be a sequel, with the main action taking place 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and focusing on Harry’s youngest son, Albus Severus. Here’s a self described “jaded, contrarian” take on Rowling and the series as a whole from The Millions.
You may have not known there’s a national arm wrestling championship. Joshua Davis found out when he saw an eye-catching flyer. When he found himself drafted onto Team USA, he turned the experience into his first big magazine piece. At The Rumpus, an interview with the author of Spare Parts.
Indie press Two Dollar Radio announced today that they’re launching Two Dollar Radio Moving Pictures, a micro-budget film division. They’ll open with three new projects (announcement video here) funded by a newly-opened IndieGoGo campaign. Donors will not only be contributing to a worthwhile venture from one of America’s best small publishers, but they’ll also be in line to receive a heap of sweet perks from the likes of Grace Krilanovich, Karolina Waclawiak, Joshua Mohr, and Scott McClanahan. Bonus: publisher (and Millions contributor) Eric Obenauf spoke with Paul Martone for the Late Night Library podcast.