At the Creative Independent, Lucy Ives discusses her new story collection, Cosmogony, and how she accepted the struggle of balancing a writing life with making a living. “It takes a lot of practice,” Ives says. “I think people don’t talk about that, that writing itself—not just like, ‘Oh, it’s hard.’ But that it isn’t natural. It’s like playing the piano or something like that. You have to stay with it to be able to do it well, or be happy with what you’re doing. I don’t have great advice about it, because I think, to me, at least, it remains a struggle, but I think you also get more accepting of the fact that it is a bit of a struggle all the time.”
We already knew that Haruki Murakami was a writer and runner but a former jazz club owner, too? Aaron Gilbreath visited Murakami’s 1970s jazz club, Peter Cat, and found “a drab three-story cement building. Outside, a first-floor, a restaurant had set up a sampuru display of plastic foods.” For more Murakami, read our review of 1Q84.
“The French writer Marcel Proust paid for glowing reviews of the first volume of his Remembrance of Things Past to be put into newspapers.” Letters by Proust, which will be auctioned off at Soethby’s in Paris next month, reveal he was willing to pay handsomely for flattering references to his novel. See also: the first entry of The Millions’ Hannah Gersen‘s column, The Proust Book Club.
Norris Church Mailer, widow of Norman Mailer, died yesterday at 61 following a long battle with cancer. Mark Olshaker, president of the Norman Mailer Society, wrote: “She was the pilgrim soul who captured and won Norman’s heart and mind and who shared with him the last three decades of his life.”
Let’s take a moment to be jealous of other countries, shall we? In Iceland, “one in ten [residents] will publish something in their lifetime.” Norway’s government “buys 1,000 copies of every book a Norwegian author publishes. It provides a $19,000 annual subsidy to every author.” In Argentina, “the city of Buenos Aires now gives pensions to published writers.”