“A picture book is like a primer on how to be a human. For a novelist, it’s perfect, because isn’t that what a lot of novelists are exploring in their work, anyway?”
—Namrata Tripathi, editorial director of Dial Books for Young Readers, who will publish novelist Junot Díaz’s first picture book, Islandborn,in spring 2018. Díaz, who calls writing for young readers “a lot harder than it looks” in the New York Times, promised his goddaughters a story about girls like them—Dominican, living in the Bronx—approximately 20 years ago.
“The lives of ordinary women are not written about nearly enough. And there’s nothing ordinary about those lives. I detest when people say women are multitaskers as if what women have done through all of time is something new, created out of a business-efficiency model.” —Victoria Redel, author of Before Everything, a novel about a gathering of lifelong female friends, at Guernica
“What I found most interesting about Knausgaard was how he feels so confident in being so boring. He would spend 50 pages on making pasta with tomato sauce—it’s so uninteresting, so banal, but somehow in the hands of a male writer it’s received as revolutionary, while in the hands of a female writer it would be seen as a quiet novel about domestic life. In fact, that is what he has written—and that’s why I devoured it. ”
—Jenny Zhang, author Sour Heart, an autobiographical short story collection, compliments autobiographical novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard, in the Guardian
“I keep saying, it’s familial. It’s that little house. Twelve people a year. Small....I hope we set a tone of kindness and generosity with one another. We are a community....”
—James Magnuson, founding director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, in an exit interview with the Austin Chronicle. Magnuson, who retired after 23 years of service, will be succeeded by novelist and native Texan Bret Anthony Johnston, former director of Harvard’s creative writing program.
Photo above right of Victoria Redel is courtesy of Sigrid Estrada; the photo above left is of Jenny Zhang.