At Tank Magazine, Alexandra Kleeman discusses her second novel, Something New Under the Sun, with Guy Mackinnon-Little, and how shifting between different projects allows her creativity to flow freely. “I’ve learned that my writing thrives in spaces where I can use interruption strategically to move about within the mental space of writing without entirely leaving it,” Kleeman says, “mostly by moving between projects, which allows me to take a breath from one line of thought that has been wrung out in order to focus in on another, unexhausted space.”
Robert A. Caro, who releases new installments of his Lyndon B. Johnson biography at a glacial pace, is apparently also working on another project, too. It’s “not a memoir, exactly,” he says, but it does concern “how he came to write the Johnson biography and its predecessor, The Power Broker.”
Thanks to the work of archivists at The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, two scholars have unearthed a 1901 play by Edith Wharton called “The Shadow of a Doubt,” reports The Guardian. “After all this time, nobody thought there were long, full scale, completed, original, professional works by Wharton still out there that we didn’t know about. But evidently there are. In 2017, Edith Wharton continues to surprise.” Pair with this reflection on the role of New York City in Wharton’s novels.
The mystery of the skull that might once have sat between the shoulders of one William Shakespeare will remain unresolved for now. A senior church lawyer for St. Leonard’s Church in Beoley, Redditch, has barred the group of curious clergymen from removing the skull for DNA testing. Alas, poor William.
“I’m trying to think of something really suitable to say. What do you think I should say? Look, you tell me what to say and I’ll say it.” That was Doris Lessing, who found out she’d won the Nobel Prize from a group of journalists who surrounded her when she was exiting a taxi. NPR has that great audio, plus other reactions of former Nobel literature laureates, including Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Our own fearless editor-in-chief, Lydia Kiesling, admires Lessing, but felt rather differently about reading one of her most famous works, The Golden Notebook: “Among other things, she did an uncanny job of creating a malaise that was actually infectious. It oozed right off the page and into my own spirit.”
The first teaser trailer for The Counselor was released today. The film, which is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy, will star Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penélope Cruz among others. As you bide your time before its November release date, treat yourself to a sneak peek of McCarthy’s screenplay over here.