At Vol 1 Brooklyn, Hermione Hoby discusses her new novel, Virtue, and why she chooses to focus on characters rather than themes in her writing process. “What I love about novels is the way in which a web of refracted perceptions constitute meaning,” Hoby says. “Novels are vehicles for ideas, but I think they must also deliver pleasure and beauty. The way they do this is through character. In other words, the only way these things you mention are elements of the novel is through the novel’s characters. (I greatly admire DeLillo and co, but I have not written a systems novel!)”
In another excellent essay from LARB’s new site, Morten Høi Jensen takes a close look at the work of Martin Amis to discuss the theme of masculinity, the arc of his oeuvre, the seductiveness of his distinct tone and the dangers of falling for it. For more on Amis, check out our expose of Invasion of the Space Invaders, the near-forgotten first work by Amis in which the young author details the gritty world of arcade gaming.
Out this week: The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis; A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction by Terry Pratchett; Ballroom by Alice Simpson; Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat by Patrick McCabe; Rooms by Lauren Oliver; and How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, who released an essay collection two years ago. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview.