by Matt Seidel
We might be blocked from seeing what lies beneath the surface, but we know it’s formidable and chilling.2
by Nathaniel Popkin
In this meeting ground of living and dead, can anyone find comfort?1
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“It’s a critical dilemma in my reading and writing but also a real-life dilemma in a family like mine, with Alzheimer’s in our genes: How do you locate the personhood in someone who is, for neurobiological reasons, no longer the person you knew? Is there a way to be true to medical fact and still find something that is transcendently human?” Stefan Merrill Block writes about the literature of Alzheimer’s and Matthew Thomas‘s We Are Not Ourselves, which Lisa Peet reviewed for The Millions.
Recommended reading, Halloween edition: 5 scary stories written by women, courtesy of BookRiot.
“God save us from novelists who want to create role models.” Time Out New York has published a new interview with Eimear McBride, whose award-winning A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing was reviewed by our own Hannah Gersen for The Millions.
“You want to know who I am? If I wanted to have anything written on my tombstone, I would have, ‘Ask my children or ask my students.’ I actually never thought of it quite that way. That wouldn’t be a bad epitaph.” An excerpt from Studs Terkel‘s oral history of death, Will The Circle Be Unbroken?: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith, is now available online.
“Every culture has its monsters,” and Jason Diamond writes about the Headless Horseman and one of the oldest American horror stories for Electric Literature.
“All I know was that in Paris I felt haunted, like a double exposure photograph that shows a figure and then a milky specter behind. I felt stalked by a creature of my own making, a monster that was both my mother and myself.” Darcey Steinke writes about Paris, loss, and monsters in an essay for Granta.
“To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” Galway Kinnell, whose Selected Poems won a Pulitzer in 1983, passed away Tuesday.
To begin to translate a book, you need to hone your knowledge of the language in which it’s written. To write a great essay about translating a book, you need a backstory, an interesting format and two or three foreign parables. At The Rumpus, Brian Oliu writes about translating his grandfather’s book from the Catalan.
Longtime writers know how hard it can be to tell when a piece is finished. Tolstoy famously tried to revise War and Peace right up to the book’s publication. At the Ploughshares blog, Amy Jo Burns offers tips for evaluating a piece before deciding to give it to someone else.
A couple of weeks ago, I pointed readers to the trailer for Olive Kitteridge, the new HBO show based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by Year in Reading alum Elizabeth Strout. In this week’s New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum sizes up the new series, describing it as a case study in bringing a work of fiction to the screen. “In the course of four hours, the miniseries casts a West Coast spell on scenes of Yankee repression,” she writes.
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Read More The Millions Top 10 September 2014
The Bone Clocks David Mitchell
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami
Cosmicomics Italo Calvino
The Round House Louise Erdrich
My Struggle: Book 1 Karl Ove Knausgaard
Reading Like a Writer Francine Prose
The Son Philipp Meyer