At Bomb Magazine, Alice McDermott discusses her first collection of nonfiction, What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction, where she dissects everything from voice, language, and the trap of beautiful writing. “Don’t strain after the beautiful language,” she says. “The language will find you if what you’re going after is something true and authentic. Auden said, ‘Truth, like love and sleep, resents approaches that are too intense.’ Straining after beauty is the same thing. Don’t do it too directly. Let the language find you, rather than chasing after it too directly and self-consciously.”
“[Ludmilla] Petrushevskaya doesn’t write about isolated acts of depravity; she writes about universal ones,” says Michael Robbins in his review of There Once Lived a Girl. “What’s scary about her narratives is their implication that only the thinnest film, which might rip at any time, separates us from the chaos and breakdown they describe.” Our own Janet Potter also reviewed Petrushevskaya’s work this week, and she focused on the romantic hopes of its characters. “What’s remarkable,” Potter writes, “is not the love they find, but the fact that they’re looking for it.”
“Their reporting led to Mr. Weinstein’s firing and set off a national conversation about the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment.” New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey will publish a book with Penguin Press about the recent sexual abuse and harassment allegations that have rocked the country. From our archives: Hannah Gersen‘s essay about seeing and hearing women in film.