At Electric Literature, Lily King speaks to Amy Reardon about her new story collection, Five Tuesdays in Winter, which she considers a rebellion against our dark times. “A number of people have said, ‘You’re not afraid of a happy ending,'” King says, “and I’ve been thinking a lot about that, and why that is true. It’s funny, everybody kind of sees what they want to see. I think even in stories that don’t have cleanly, purely happy endings, I am in the business of hope. I do believe in hope, and I do believe in change, and I do believe that we’re better than we think we are, and we’re better than this time we’re in. We are. I just… I hope we can get there before the world ends.”
The “David Mamet Appliance Center” has some predictably abrasive customer service representatives. Here is Peter McCleery for McSweeney’s imagining a hilarious and existentially hopeless exchange between customer and technician. The Millions has even more to satisfy your fictitious-Mamet fix: an imagined symposium with Mamet, Francine Prose, and James Wood among others.
New this week is Jonathan Evison’s West of Here, Joyce Carol Oates’ memoir A Widow’s Story about the death of her husband (this was the source of her recent, quite moving essay in the New Yorker), and the expanded rerelease of Alexander Theroux’s The Strange Case of Edward Gorey. Also new on shelves from NYRB Classics is Irretrievable by Theodor Fontane, with an introduction by Phillip Lopate, who discussed Fontane in our Year in Reading in December.
Gawker.com will end operations next week – and this time it’s for good. Over at the New Yorker, Jia Solentino writes about what made Gawker singular in the online world. “A lively, difficult brand of unevenness was inherent in Gawker’s work, and this still seems to confound people: Why, if it took its work seriously, would it run ‘some of both the best and worst of 21st century journalism,’” as Salon put it, and all under the same name?”