At the New York Times, Kristen Radtke discusses her new graphic novel, Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, and reflects on the way storytelling allows writers to confront their loneliness. “It’s not a leap to suggest that many writers are inherently lonely people,” Radtke says, “because writing is a form of seeking, a desire to put something into the world that doesn’t yet exist. Emily Dickinson called loneliness ‘the horror not to be surveyed,’ and what is writing if not crying out for someone to bear witness to a part of who we are? I have read very few books that are not about loneliness in some way, even unintentionally — a searching protagonist, a disconnected character, a desperate quest to answer a question that a writer has found no other way to solve.”
The 2017 Whiting Award winners were announced tonight at a ceremony in Manhattan, and this year’s list of ten honorees includes Francisco Cantú (The Line Becomes a River), Simone Wright (Of Being Dispersed), Phillip B. Williams (Thief in the Interior), Kaitlyn Greenidge (We Love You, Charlie Freeman), Tony Tulathimutte (Private Citizens), Jen Beagin (Pretend I’m Dead), and Lisa Halliday (Asymmetry) as well as playwrights Clarence Coo, James Ijames, and Clare Barron. The award, which recognizes early-career writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama, comes with a $50,000 prize. Excerpts from each writer’s work can be read at The Paris Review.
Ultra-niche magazines operate a bit differently than their larger and more mainstream cousins. Magazines like Donkey Talk, which caters exclusively to donkey hobbyists, aim for tiny audiences of a few hundred to a few thousand readers. They also cultivate their own jargon — one magazine, The Mountain Astrologer, tosses the word “quincunx” around as casually as “email.”