Virginia Woolf photographed by George Beresford.
“As the streets…are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm. If you persist, lawyers’ clerks will have to make flying leaps into the mud; young lady typists will have to fidget behind you. In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty, and it is better not to be very tall, to wear a long blue cloak, or to beat the air with your left hand.”
Allowing for the fact ...
S.G. Browne photographed by David DeSilva
I confess: S.G. Browne is so funny that he once made me disrupt an entire hospital emergency room. I was in the waiting room reading Browne’s debut novel Breathers (2009), a romantic comedy about zombies. When I hit the line “Is it necrophilia if we’re both dead?” I burst out laughing, disturbing every poor soul around me. (Note: the author of Breathers is rather proud of this achievement.)
Since then, Browne has published three more well-received and equally ...
Jill Alexander Essbaum photographed by Megan Sembera Peters
“Why don’t you write me a trashy book and make us all rich?” Jill Alexander Essbaum’s late father used to tease. Although she certainly didn’t have her father in mind while writing the steamy sex scenes of her captivating debut novel, Hausfrau, she has him to thank. Her father’s Sidney Sheldon and Harold Robbins books piqued her early interest in bawdy subjects.
Hausfrau follows the carnal wreckage of a tired housewife, Anna Benz, an American expat living in a ...
Barney Frank photographed by Michael Halsband
Barney Frank is well known for being well spoken—even when he’s yelling.
“That’s one of the lucky things about me: I talk good. I don’t have to do a lot of preparation,” says Frank, who represented Massachusetts’s 4th Congressional District from 1981-2013.
Writing, however, is fraught with technical difficulties. “It is possible to type illegibly, it turns out,” says Frank, who employed a Dictaphone and transcriptionists to write official Congressional correspondence.
At 400 pages, his new memoir proved ...
Jacob Rubin photographed by Andy Fink
The scene feels old-fashioned: a man walks onto a stage to practice the art of impersonation, as audience members clamor for the thrill of being his next target. In 2015, it feels like a quaint notion, that masses would find such fascination with the spectacle of one man skilled in imitation but this fascination is at the center of Jacob Rubin’s debut novel The Poser.
Part showbiz tale, part psychological study, The Poser focuses on Giovanni Bernini, a young ...
Daniel Torday photographed by Matt Barrick
Shakespeare was a poacher—so one version goes as referenced in Daniel Torday’s compelling debut novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West. Before heading to London, this practiced skill may have helped as Shakespeare later poached from historical legends and Montaigne, Plutarch and others in constructing his grand and verbally engaging entertainments. Every Shakespearean tragedy depicts the swelling before the fall. So, too, does Torday’s titular protagonist in this remarkably layered novel.
The Last Flight of Poxl West, written in what ...
Robin Rinaldi photographed by Rhonnel M. Adalin.
Would you take on a project you believed had a 70 to 80 percent chance of destroying your marriage?
Now reverse that. Would you take on a project you believed had a 20 to 30 percent chance of saving your marriage, if you thought that project was the marriage’s only hope?
That’s exactly what author and journalist Robin Rinaldi thought and did when she notified her husband of 18 years that they were going to have an open marriage, i ...
Kazuo Ishiguro photographed by Jeff Cottenden.
An epic journey, a mysterious quest. The land is shrouded in mist. The people’s memories are similarly clouded, as if by design. There are ogres in the woods and dragons in the mountains—and enemies everywhere.
In lesser hands, that scenario might have become another Tolkien knockoff. But as told by the eminently practiced, genre-jumping storyteller Kazuo Ishiguro, it’s a grand allegory of human history. And more plainly than all that, Ishiguro says from his home in London, it’s “a Western ...