At Kirkus, Olivia Laing discusses her new book, Everybody: A Book About Freedom, and why she chose the idiosyncratic Wilhelm Reich as its central figure. “I’ve had a career of writing about difficult and complicated people,” Laing says, “and Reich takes the biscuit. He had been a sexual liberationist, he’d been an anti-fascist. He had this visionary idea in the 1920s of uniting the ideas of Freud and Marx; he thought that trauma was encapsulated in the body, that it lived in the body. And at the same time, he saw our bodies as agents of change.”
“We all use a ‘persona’ or mask, to some degree, all the time,” writes poet Robert Pinsky as he challenges the notion—widely held in English classes throughout the world—that a poem’s “speaker” is necessarily separate from a poem’s author. The latest release from Pinsky, the former Poet Laureate of the United States, is Selected Poems, and you can hear him read some excerpts in this video.
The Morning News continues its Reading Roulette series with Nikolai Klimontovich’s “How to Crow Your Head Off,” which “recalls 1957, when another anticipated influx of foreigners into the heart of the Soviet Union prompted ‘municipal cleansing’ measures of the human sort.”
Out this week: The Wall by H.G. Adler; How to Be Both by Ali Smith; Screenplay by MacDonald Harris; Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin; Essays after Eighty by Donald Hall; Selected Letters by Norman Mailer; and Skylight by the late Nobel laureate José Saramago. For more on these and other recent titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview.