At Kirkus, Weike Wang discusses her second novel, Joan Is Okay, which follows an ICU doctor who uses her love of sytems and her deadpan humor to navigate grief and loss. “Humor is a coping mechanism,” Wang says. “Humor keeps the door open for readers to come in. I was in science for most of my 20s, and the stereotype of people like us was that we are robotic or we have no feelings, which is wholly not true. I thought, what if I took that idea and made something a little bit comic to point at the absurdity of that idea?”
“At first, I didn’t realize that AlexanderIII was translating the book; I thought he was just a fastidious Russian reader with a loose command of the English language. It was fun to see people debating the meanings of my thoroughly worked-over phrases…Then I remembered that no Russian publisher had acquired the rights, and realized that AlexanderIII must be translating it for some kind of book-pirating outfit.” Over at The Atlantic, Peter Mountford recounts the experience of watching book piracy in action.
Millions staff writing appearing elsewhere: At In Character, my essay about Derrick Borte’s The Joneses and the idea of the American impostor (ECW).
A U.S. Navy commodore’s 1823 General Order announcing the imminent seizure of Key West – at the time known as Allenton – has been obtained, along with “1,000 other pieces of the island’s history,” by the Monroe County Public Library. The collection also includes a book from 1858 written by William Curry, “a penniless Bahamian immigrant who became Florida’s first millionaire.” Best of all? You can view some of the cache online.
The Morning News is asking writers to visit restaurants and then write about the experience, so long as the piece they write adheres to two criteria: “1) it is a restaurant review” and “2) it is not a restaurant review.” First on deck: Roxane Gay, whose novel Untamed State was recently reviewed for our site.
The L Magazine features an interview with poet/multi-genre artist Claudia Rankine, whose performance piece The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue — a Rankine-written-and-recorded narrative that accompanies a bus ride through the South Bronx — will run for two months beginning Labor Day Weekend.