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.”
As an appetizer, consider Rick Poyner’s take on the work of Pierre Faucheux, a book designer Richard Hollis called “the single most important figure in French graphic design after Cassandre.” For the main course, check out this incredible Book Cover Archive edited and maintained by Ben Pieratt and Eric Jacobsen. Finally, as dessert, nominate your favorite book designs from 2011 for Design Observer’s “50 Books/50 Covers” contest.
The Wall Street Journal sent Geoff Dyer a bottle of El Segundo Brewing Company’s Blue House Citra Pale ale, and asked him to write about it. Because he’s Geoff Dyer, and there isn’t a topic (e.g. aircraft carriers, photography) on Earth that he can’t write about, he of course obliged.
What happens when you put one of the biggest literary egos together with music’s biggest ego? A movie. Bret Easton Ellis is working with Kanye West on a film. “He came and asked me to write the film,” Ellis told Vice. “I didn’t want to at first. Then I listened to Yeezus…I thought, regardless of whether I’m right for this project, I want to work with whoever made this.” This is an interesting pairing because Kanye definitely isn’t a reader.
A new Margaret Atwood novel is out this week, as is a new book by Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee. Also out: The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell, At the Bottom of Everything by Ben Dolnick and Duplex by Kathryn Davis. For more on these and other upcoming releases, check out our Great 2013 Second-Half Book Preview.