At Shondaland, Qian Julie Wang discusses her memoir, Beautiful Country, a story of immigration and discovery seen through the eyes of an undocumented child. “I was very inspired by Harriet the Spy,” Wang says, “and I wrote down a lot of mundane details of my worlds in hopes that I might be able to solve some sort of mystery. That mystery never materialized, but it really helped me as an adult to look back and try to place myself in that little kid’s shoes. Once I opened the floodgates and really let myself feel everything, it came back fairly quickly. It was really important for me to share the story from that childhood perspective because I know that some of the horrors of life can be much more palatable when presented to adults through the lens of a child, but at the same time deeply disturbing because this is a child who’s filtering it through and not seeing everything that the adult should.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is almost as famous for being sampled on Beyoncé’s latest album as she is for her novel Americanah. With that in mind, she discussed her writing process, hair blogs, and what feminism means to her in Elle. “It means that I am present in the world, and that I realize that there is a problem with the way we’ve constructed gender,” she said. For more Adichie, read her 2013 Year in Reading post.
Photographers who are tired of weddings should start shooting book covers. When New Directions asked to use one of Allen Frame’s photos for the cover of Robert Bolaño’s Last Evenings on Earth, he gave them access to his archive instead. Today, nine Frame photos have been used on Bolaño book covers. You can view them here or at New York City’s Gitterman Gallery.