Elvis Costello photographed by Mary McCartney
The first notable aspect of musician Elvis Costello’s memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, is its length. It doesn’t feel like a celebrity memoir in your hands; it’s too weighty and thus probably divulging way too much personal stuff. Some celebrity memoirs are carefully crafted and calibrated to not divulge anything revealing while trying to persuade you that you’re the celeb’s best friend.
Elvis Costello doesn’t write that way (or pay a ghostwriter to write that way for him ...
We talk to the writer about the secrets of her success
New York Times–bestselling author Maya Banks trained as an emergency medical technician before she realized she’d rather write about drama and angst than be in the middle of it. Switching to writing and getting her start with digital publishing, she has enjoyed success in the romance genre, among others.
What prompted you to self-publish, and when did you start?
I got my start in digital publishing. I was able to write and publish several books with my ...
We talk with the store’s general manager, Jeremy Ellis
Jeremy Ellis photographed by Mark Hiebert
Brazos Bookstore was founded in Houston in 1974 by Karl Kilian. In 2006, when Kilian announced he would retire and shutter the bookstore, 28 local supporters collectively bought it to keep the Houston literary hub alive. Here, we talk with General Manager Jeremy Ellis about Brazos’ patron saints, Banned Books Week, and midnight Haruki Murakami parties.
How would you describe Brazos Bookstore to the uninitiated?
Brazos Bookstore is curated, creative, and inviting. We specialize in literary fiction, poetry ...
Letters, letters, and more letters
Letters can give fiction or nonfiction a sense of intimacy that’s otherwise hard to achieve. In Indieland, many memoirs and biographies use epistolary content to good, detailed effect, providing a time-capsule–esque immediacy.
The Quiet Tides of Bordeaux is the biography of Micheline Hébert. Born in 1916 France, she worked as a teacher when the Germans invaded in 1940. Author J.L.F. Lambert includes Hébert’s letters, as well as photographs and drawings of various sites in Bordeaux, throughout the ...
Susan Cheever photographed by Michael Falco
The Pilgrims may have been brave. According to Susan Cheever, they were definitely drunk.
“The Pilgrims landed the Mayflower at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on a cold November day in 1620 because they were running out of beer,” Cheever writes in Drinking in America: Our Secret History. “Their legal charter from King James was for a grant of land in Northern Virginia, but instead they anchored illegally and carved their first community from the sand, laying the foundation of ...
Garth Risk Hallberg photographed by Jordan Alport
Harper Lee was moved to write by a murder trial. F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired by upper-crust parties on Long Island. Garth Risk Hallberg? He had a Billy Joel song.
So much hype has preceded Hallberg’s second novel, City on Fire—a nearly 1,000-page doorstopper that had a film deal even before it attracted a reported nearly $2 million for the publication rights—that it’s a little funny to hear the writer explain that the book had such quotidian ...
Louise Penny photographed by Sigrid Estrada
Since my end-of-summer vacation, I am officially addicted to Armand Gamache. Chief Inspector for homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, Gamache is the hero—and I don’t use that word lightly—of Louise Penny’s mystery series, which began in 2006 with Still Life and expands every year, most recently this August with The Long Way Home. Unlike many mysteries, Penny’s really need to be read in order, because in addition to the invariably complex and thought-provoking cases featured in each volume, there’s ...
Gary D. Schmidt photographed by Myrna Anderson
On a Maine organic farm, 12-year-old Jack must adjust to a new normal when Joseph—a young man with a violent past—comes to stay as a temporary foster brother in Orbiting Jupiter, the latest from two-time Newbery Award–winning writer Gary D. Schmidt. Joseph’s entry into Jack’s life raises new, potentially disturbing questions about many adults in Jack’s world and also pushes Jack to explore bending a few rules of his own.
Joseph’s memorable character is loosely based upon a real young ...