paper trail

Michelle Tea on motherhood; Clarice Lispector’s newspaper columns

Michelle Tea. Photo: Gretchen Sayers

At Lit Hub, an excerpt from Michelle Tea’s Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility, which was just published by Dey Street Books. Tea writes, “Although my friends’ anti-baby fears gave me the opportunity to try out my pro-baby arguments, the truth was, the dare to depart in this wild new direction existed inside my body alongside self-doubt, the economic scarcity issues that were my birthright, and basic terror of the unknown.” 

At The Baffler, Rhian Sasseen considers the late Japanese sci-fi writer Izumi Suzuki, whose stories appear for the first time in English in the recent collection Terminal Boredom. Of the title story, Sasseen writes: “Reading this in 2022, in a cultural moment in which disassociation has become a favorite buzzword and any idealism regarding the transformative effects of the internet has long been eroded, Suzuki’s depiction of disaffection and depression, and the blurring between one’s self and one’s stories, is more an uncomfortable truism than narcissistic warning sign.”

In an essay for The Guardian, novelist Mohsin Hamid (Exit West) writes about polarization, the “tyranny of binaries,” and his hope that writing and reading fiction “can help us investigate the space between the ones and zeroes.” 

The Paris Review website has posted a selection of Clarice Lispector’s crônicas (chronicles), short newspaper columns that she wrote in the late 1960s. A complete collection will be published this fall by New Directions. In one dispatch, Lispector writes, “I rely on my incomprehension, which has given me an instinctive and intuitive life, whereas so-called comprehension is so limited.”

PEN America reports on the banning of fifty-two books in Utah’s largest school district. Almost 50 percent of the removed books had LGBTQ themes. The school board is also investigating thirty-two more books for “sensitive material” and a lack of “literary merit."