The Harper Lee Industry Chugs On

Thirty-eight letters written from the To Kill a Mockingbird author to a friend from 2005-2010 are up for auction this week, including Harper Lee's reaction to Barack Obama's inauguration. See also: this close reading of the birds themselves.

The Great American Novelist

"And that might be the best way to understand Erdrich’s artistic project: as a celebration of beauty and a testament to the redemptive power of art — which, of course, includes storytelling." Rumaan Alam interviews Louise Erdrich about her illustrious writing career for Buzzfeed Reader. Erdrich's newest novel Future Home of the Living God was featured in our November Preview.

Voices in Asian-Anglophone Fiction

This week in the New Yorker Jane Hu analyzes the "dispassionate first-person narrators" prominent in works by English-speaking Asian authors and questions whether that makes it easier to identify with the narrator. She uses Chemistry by NBA 5 under 35 honoree Weike Wang as an example along with other recent works.  "Against this tradition, there is, perhaps, another emerging, of Asian-Anglophone writers who both play with and thus begin to undo these tropes of Asian impersonality. The novels by Ishiguro, Park, Lin, and Wang all feature first-person narrators who keep their distance—actively denying readers direct interior access. This is true, it’s important to note, even when the characters they write are not themselves Asian."

Literary Icons Interview Each Other

Year in Reading alum Margaret Atwood interviews Louise Erdrich. They discuss Canada, reproductive rights, their hopes for the future and writing messy characters in a dystopia. Find it in Elle.

Paris in a Podcast

“[A]n audio odyssey through fiction, archival tape, interviews, and late nights with the likes of James Baldwin, Dorothy Parker, and the cutting-edge writers of our time. Featuring readings from LeVar Burton, Stockard Channing, Jesse Eisenberg, Marc Maron, Eileen Myles, David Sedaris, Dick Cavett, Dakota Johnson, and more!” Did you know The Paris Review has a new podcast? See also: our interview with current TPR editor Lorin Stein.

Amazon’s Best Books of 2017

Amazon has unveiled its Best Books of 2017 list. Dive in!
Curiosities, New Releases

Tuesday New Release Day: Erdrich; Silber; Young; Sontag; Salter

Out this week: Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich; Improvement by Joan Silber; Bunk by Kevin Young; Debriefing: Collected Stories by Susan Sontag; and Don’t Save Anything by James Salter. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.

The Right Side of History

"I write, always thinking about the generations of black women who came before me, who faced racism and sexism head-on, and in spite of it all, did their work. They encourage me not to despair." For Vogue, author Brit Bennett writes about 2017, racism, Trump, and the forward progression of time. Pair with: staff writer Ismail Muhammad's interview with Bennett.

Dear Diary

"Despite its brevity, the diary is an illuminating document that offers a glimpse into the mind of the artist as a young woman." The never-before-seen diary of Flannery O’Connor has been published in Image, an arts and faith quarterly, and reveals the shadow of the writer she would become. See also: our own Nick Ripatrazone on teaching O'Connor.

The Prince of Horror

"Hill had maintained a daily writing routine since age 13, completing four or five books as a teen and four more as an adult, and was now, at the cusp of 35, finally putting out a novel—a ghost story." GQ profiles Joe Hill about his writing, being the son of Stephen King, and finding success in his own right. From our archives: our own editor Lydia Kiesling's essay on King, nostalgia, and America.