At Asymptote Journal, E.J. Koh discusses her memoir, The Magical Language of Others, and shares why the collective memory plays a big role in how she writes about loss and trauma. “There are many kinds of losses that must be imagined,” Koh says. “The loss of the dead and the loss for remaining alive. There is a braiding that happens between testimony and reparation, imagination and reconciliation. There is also the changing of names, from the location of the atrocity to the date when it took place, as a braiding. There are many kinds of truths from victims, scholars, perpetrators, but also the dead. There is the imagination to fathom a war and the imagination to live in its aftermath. It is possible to avoid difficult subjects, but they need not be avoided.”
Frank Stanford isn’t the most well-known American poet, but he is one of the most revered, at least according to his contemporaries. At The Rumpus, David Biespeil writes about a new collection of the poet’s work, remarking that “no American poet I have ever met regardless of disposition or poetics has disliked Frank Stanford’s poems.”
If you like the music of groups like Portishead, CocoRosie, and the Cocteau Twins, you might be interested in the eerie musical dreamscapes of Emily Wells, a gifted violinist and vocalist whose work combines classical, folk, and hip hop. Here she performs “Symphony 1 In the Barrel of a Gun.”
Not every worthy book finds the audience it deserves as quickly as Edan Lepucki’s California. John Warner writes about the long aftermath of finding his debut, The Funny Man, featured in our 2011 Most Anticipated Book Preview: “I wondered, what if? Maybe this was going to be the next phase of my life, and when people asked me what I did, I’d say that I wrote novels.” His new collection of short stories is Tough Day for the Army.
“Listen to what makes your hair stand on end, your heart melt, and your eyes go wide, what stops you in your tracks and makes you want to live, wherever it comes from, and hope that your writing can do all those things for other people. Write for other people, but don’t listen to them too much.” Being a writer is really hard. Fortunately, Very Good Writer Rebecca Solnit is here with ten tips on how to be a better one.
Thirty years after its initial publication, Don DeLillo’s White Noise is still every bit the hilarious, uncannily prescient classic that everyone believed it was. White nailed the whole “America poisoned by reality and the humming glow of computer screens” angle better than almost anyone. For more DeLillo, here’s what its like to re-read White Noise.