Articles by Lydia Kiesling

February 4, 2013

The Millions Conversation: Mark O’Connell on Viral Celebrity, Internet Weirdness, and the Phenomenon of the Epic Fail 3

I do seem to be preoccupied by Internet weirdness. But who isn’t fascinated by that stuff, really? (The answer to that rhetorical question is actually, no doubt, lots of normal people.)

December 15, 2012

A Year in Reading: Lydia Kiesling 4

As usual, to compose my Year in Reading is to confront my failures.

November 30, 2012

A Sensitive Meatball: On Kurt Vonnegut’s Letters 4

Reading these letters, it seemed like Kurt Vonnegut’s biggest obstacle to happiness was Kurt Vonnegut.

October 12, 2012

Modern Library Revue: #90 Midnight’s Children 2

When you go somewhere new, without the funds to elevate you to the echelon of luxury that is its own country, inevitably there comes a moment when you look around and realize that you have no idea what the fuck is going on. In these moments my Indian book club of one succored me, gave context to the long days of new sights and sounds.

August 27, 2012

Wedding Wind: A Commonplace Book of Unsuitable Readings 9

It turns out that it was hard for me to find a good wedding reading because I’m a gloomy old bastard.

August 20, 2012

A Book for the Dog Days of Summer 2

As Murphy and Wasik stress again and again, this is a horrible disease; its grotesque symptoms, its uncurable-ness, its unpredictable incubation time, and its ideal vector–the dog–give it a unique place in the human psyche.

July 27, 2012

Elect Donald Antrim for a Better World 6

They knew there were people who needed these novels — frustrated people and weird people and people who prefer a very correct, very unusual deployment of the English language: formal but personal, arch, hilarious, possessed of a slightly antiquarian flavor. Even very great writers don’t often write like this.

June 27, 2012

#LitBeat: Funny and Dirty in San Francisco 1

Sheila Heti took the stage last, and told us that she would be dirty. And how. Reading from her new book about a divorced feminist playwright, Heti selected what can only be the dirtiest bits, an extended sex party between the protagonist and an artist named Israel.

April 27, 2012

Let’s Translate this Thing: Murathan Mungan’s Cities of Women 14

Anglophones have a rare opportunity here for a bit of friendly cultural one-upmanship with the French: In a talk last summer, Mungan told the assembled that his French publishers rejected Cities of Women because they wanted to advertise him strictly as a novelist. The introduction of his stories and plays and poems to the market, they told him, would “confuse” the French people.

April 20, 2012

Modern Library Revue: #36 All the King’s Men 10

This novel is written so beautifully, so stylishly, and feels so American — with all the muddled greatness and shittiness that descriptor implies — that my decrepit patriotism pricked up its ears like it sometimes does when I read a stunning novel about America, in fine American English.