At Poets & Writers, Eugene Lim discusses his newest novel, Search History, which examines grief through his signature mix of the mundane and extraordinary. “Even if there are many things going on in it, I think at its heart this novel is a book about grief,” Lim says. “And writing about that subject while enduring its wound makes you doubt yourself, makes you wonder whether one is being honest or honoring or insensitive or sentimentalizing. I wanted to articulate and be honest to the emotion of grief but also I wanted it to be both original and transformed by and into fiction—not so that the emotion was made into mere artifice but so that the artifice and strong emotions could stand together without either feeling manipulated or made false by the other.”
A new story from Beatrix Potter will be published this September. A publisher discovered the almost-finished story, which features a cat in boots named Miss Catherine St Quintin, at the Victoria and Albert Museum archives. For a humorous take on modern children’s books, check out our own Jacob Lambert’s series Are Picture Books Leading Our Children Astray?
The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, the forthcoming debut effort by sometime Millions contributor Elif Batuman, gets an intriguing write-up in Publishers Weekly.
In her review of Joe Wright’s cinematic adaptation for Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Amanda Shubert writes, “Anna Karenina (2012) is, in fact, a mess. But it’s the kind of mess probably only Wright could make.” She goes on to look at how Wright has adapted work by Jane Austen and Ian McEwan, and how he has continued to face the problem of representing literary style (and form) on the screen.
How The Daily Show may have an advantage over mainstream news, by virtue of its refusual to take “View from Nowhere.” Conor Friedersdorf makes the compelling case that comedy writers, with their eyes rooting out the absurd in the world, can put give the news some much needed perspective.
Superagent Andrew (“The Jackal”) Wylie disses the e-book and modern publishing’s “wild weekend in Las Vegas approach” to book acquisition in the Wall Street Journal Magazine. But the best part is an online slide show depicting Wylie’s journey from a wild-eyed hippie cabbie in 1971 to the uberwasp wheeler-dealer that he is today.
What would the child of The Big Lebowski characters The Dude (Jeff Bridges) and Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) look like? Maybe like Lt. Col. Django (Bridges, again), one of the characters in Grant Heslov‘s The Men Who Stare at Goats, set to release in November, a comedy about the U.S. military’s attempt to train psychic soldiers (based on the book by Jon Ronson).