paper trail

Joy Williams on Jim Harrison’s poetry; Zachary Fine considers “the prolonged season” of Elizabeth Hardwick

Elizabeth Hardwick

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Zachary Fine considers a forthcoming biography of Elizabeth Hardwick, her reputation as a stylist, and her popularity today. Cathy Curtis’s A Splendid Intelligence is one of a spate of books by or about Hardwick published in recent years; it seems, Fine writes, we are in “the prolonged season of Hardwick.” Fine also points out that some critics working today seem to write like her: “What better way to sneer at mass-market fiction and the flat Globish prose of ‘world literature,’ say, than to insist on writing like Hardwick: stunningly, unsaleably, and right on the border of the illegible?”

Novelist Joy Williams writes about Jim Harrison’s poetry for the Paris Review Daily. Williams considers Harrison a religious poet, and was surprised when his work was not included in Harold Bloom’s anthology of religious poems: “Perhaps the work was considered a bit too randy? There were too many mentions of women’s lovely bottoms? Too many rivers and wolves? And shit and whiskey and flies and questioning Our Maker about ancillary matters?”

For the New Republic, Jo Livingstone listens to Lili Anolik’s new podcast about Donna Tartt, Bret Easton Ellis, and Jonatham Lethem’s time at Bennington College. Tartt’s literary agents have asked that Once Upon a Time . . . at Bennington College be removed from Apple Podcasts, and cautioned its creators against sharing any “false, misleading, or otherwise inaccurate statements.” Livingstone has found that “the podcast narrows, rather than opens up, the possibilities for interpreting” aspects of Tartt’s 1992 novel The Secret History, which Tartt wrote while at Bennington.

New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman interviews Michael Favala Goldman about his work translating Danish poet and novelist Tove Ditlevsen. According to Goldman, “Tove Ditlevsen knows how to read a room. I feel she is so precise about revealing the masks that we adults wear—pride, powerlessness, for example—to cover up our immaturity. Ditlevsen’s fiction tends to be realistic and heavy, with no happy endings.”

The New York Times Book Review presents a collection of archival interviews and reviews to celebrate their 125th anniversary. Revisit Times interviews and reviews of books by Maxine Hong Kingston, Mary Karr, Zadie Smith, and more.