At BOMB Magazine, Caleb Azuma Nelson discusses his debut novel, Open Water, and the significance of its second person narrator. “Using the second person afforded more intimacy to the narrative,” Nelson says, “which meant that a reader was both audience and protagonist. It thrusts the reader as close as possible into the narrative, into that warmth, into that space where freedom might be found. I guess I’m asking for the reader to participate in the same vulnerability I had to access in order to write the book. I’m asking the reader to come closer, to feel what I felt, and to also tap into what they feel too.”
“Some people see things others cannot, and they are right, and we call them creative geniuses. Some people see things others cannot, and they are wrong, and we call them mentally ill.” The Atlantic has an excellent contribution to the age-old thesis that creativity and madness are inextricably linked–and tied, moreover, to mental illness–based in part on a sample of students at Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Pair with another essay on creativity and the “touch of madness” from our own archives.
“[B]eing twelve is its own psychosexual dystopian satire, and I was not in on the joke.” Abbey Fenbert writes for Catapult about Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World, reading-while-tween, and being a seventh-grade book censor. See also: our own brave editor-in-chief, Lydia Kiesling, on reading Huxley a week after last November’s election.