At the Washington Post, Kazuo Ishiguro discusses his latest novel, Klara and the Sun, with Mary Laura Philpott, and affirms the importance of literature and storytelling in society. “I’ve been saying for years, if you take away reading, take away literature, you take away something very, very important in the way we human beings communicate with each other,” Ishiguro says. “It’s not enough just to have knowledge of facts. We’ve got to somehow be able to communicate our feelings and our emotions. We’ve got to be able to tell each other what it feels like to be in different kinds of situations. Otherwise, we don’t know what to do with our knowledge. When we create stories for movies or just stories that we tell each other when we meet, this is something very, very fundamental. Take that away, some bad things are going to happen. We’re just going to end up profoundly lonely and not be able to function as a civilization.”
Like YA novels? Harbor a certain affection for the book publishing arm of McSweeney’s? Then you’re the prime audience for this excerpt of The Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, Michelle Tea’s contribution to the publisher’s new Mullens imprint. (Naturally, it’s the first in a trilogy.)
If you’ve been on the Internet in the past week, you’ve probably heard about Beyoncé’s incredible new record, Lemonade. Noah Friedman at Wordshop 101 explains why Lemonade is great press for poets (particularly Warsan Shire, who is featured in the film). Andrew Kay writes on how reading poetry aloud connects us with the dead.
“Even after I realize that we are being robbed, that bullets can shatter glass, that being locked in is no help in this situation, I still feel a vague resentment at having to hand the laptop over. It’s mine. It contains my work, a week of writing, a month or more of photography, personal information. I have hesitated only a few seconds but feel as though I have just woken from a trance: briefly, I imagined myself with a bullet in my thigh, imagined myself bleeding out in traffic in Ojota.” At Granta, Teju Cole writes about living in Lagos.