For Canadian author Cary Fagan, there’s no format as freeing as a picture book.
“When you write a picture book, you can theoretically do anything,” says Fagan, author of A Cage Went in Search of a Bird. “You can write about a cage. You can write a book that has no humans in it. It can be very funny, terribly sad, profound, poetic, or crude. The scope is so wide and, to me, that’s a very exciting thing.” ...
Courtesy Jason Thrasher
John T. Edge’s The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South is no mere paean to peanuts, homage to hominy, and laudation to lard. Like the nutritive broth for which it’s named, this title is more substantive than it appears at a glance.
“One the primary aims of my book,” says Edge, a native Georgian who lives in Oxford, Mississippi, “is to take this seemingly soft-focused, romantic subject—simplistic subject—of food and bring to life the characters and ...
Quips on our radar.
Robert Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
“To get a line that is exactly right, you sometimes have to sacrifice everything,” he told The Washington Post in 1991. “That goes for being a celebrity, for interaction with people, personal comfort, everything.” —Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, remembered by the Los Angeles Times. Pirsig died April 24, at age 88, at home in South Berwick, Maine.
“I think being outside of an industry hub means that most people attend ...
To get the girl in Randa Abdel-Fattah’s YA novel, The Lines We Cross, Australian teenager Michael Blainey needs to get (and stay) “woke”—though it’s probably not the term he would use.
“I’m familiar with it,” Abdel-Fattah says of the slang usage denoting possession of a social justice consciousness, “but it’s very much an American-specific context word, although it certainly resonates with what’s happening in Michael’s situation.”
Readers of The Lines We Cross (ages 12-17) meet Michael at an ...
Quips on our radar
Lidia Yuknavitch photographed by Andrew Kovalev.
“He doesn’t know anything about marriage, so I’m not concerned.”
—Nan Talese on husband Gay Talese’s forthcoming book on the subject of their 57-year marriage, in the Vanity Fair profile “How Nan Talese Blazed Her Pioneering Path Through the Publishing Boys’ Club”
What are some words you despise that have been used to describe your writing by readers and/or reviewers?
“When a reviewer claimed The Small Backs of Children, a story about a girl who ...
Rakesh Satyal photographed by Melisa Moehlman.
From the Indian subcontinent to the American suburbs, Rakesh Satyal’s rollicking sophomore novel vigorously subverts the conventions of “ethnic literature.”
“People have this idea when it comes to ‘ethnic literature’—if you want to use that term—that it has to be weighty, wistful, grief-laden, and there has to be a pall of worry over everything,” says Satyal, author of No One Can Pronounce My Name. “What I tried to do was take a grief narrative and subvert it through ...
Doree Shafrir photographed by Willy Somma.
Doree Shafrir’s Startup, a pitch-perfect takedown of tech bros and the new media mavens, begins at a New York City dance party sponsored, in part, by an on-demand laundry app.
“This was the October edition of MorningRave,” Shafrir writes in Startup, “a monthly gathering devoted to the idea that the best way to start the day was with the excited energy of a clean-living dance party, a movement that in a previous generation might have been derided as corny ...
Quips on our radar
Margaret Atwood at the NBCC awards in March; photo courtesy of Marisol Diaz.
“When I did this research I was surprised by, wherever I looked, there were more drugs to be found. Drugs of all colors, shapes, and sizes...except marijuana. Nazis did not smoke weed. Other than that, they were really going for it.”
—Norman Ohler, author of Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich,in conversation with Dan Piepenbring of the Paris Review at NeueHouse Madison Square
“If you mean a novel in which women are human beings—with ...