• Yiyun Li. Photo: © Phillippe Matsas
    September 15, 2022

    The National Book Award for Translated Literature longlist; Yiyun Li on remaining “midthought” while writing

    Alexandra Kleeman profiles novelist Yiyun Li for the New York Times Magazine, and writes about Li’s latest novel, The Book of Goose, which will be published next week. Among the questions Kleeman poses is one borrowed from a character in Li’s 2019 novel Where Reasons End: “What do you do all day?” Over email, Li explains why she tries to stay “midthought” throughout the day: “I don’t think writing is the beginning of the thought, the beginning happens before we start typing the first word; and usually the thought doesn’t end when a story or a novel ends. The thought (several thoughts) still

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  • Jean-Luc Godard. Photo: Gary Stevens/Wikimedia Commons
    September 14, 2022

    Tributes to Jean-Luc Godard; Leslie Jamison on Choose Your Own Adventure books

    In tribute to filmmaker and montage master Jean-Luc Godard, who died yesterday in Switzerland by assisted suicide, Leo Robson has “assembled some of my favourite statements made by and about the director over the past seventy years.” The Paris Review has shared a partial transcript from a 1979 conversation between Godard and the writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras. In a remembrance published online at n+1, Blair McClendon writes: “I never have much to say to giants. It was enough to know that he was out there—smoking a cigar, whining, planning—while I was elsewhere doing those same things,

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  • Javier Marías
    September 13, 2022

    Javier Marías has died at age seventy

    Javier Marías has died at age seventy. The Spanish writer, best known for his Your Face Tomorrow trilogy, was the author of more than fifteen novels, including Thus Bad Begins, and The Infatuations.  In 2018, Marías said in an interview with Garth Risk Hallberg, “A professor goes to give his lesson after 40 years . . . and the teacher knows he will give a good lesson, or at least a decent one. And he will do it with ease. And the carpenter who’s been making tables for 40 years or whatever knows he will succeed with the next table. But a novelist doesn’t know that at all!”

    On her Substack,

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  • Hari Kunzru. Photo: Clayton Cubitt
    September 12, 2022

    New Yorker Festival events announced

    The New Yorker Festival tickets are now on sale. On Saturday, October 8, Andrew Solomon will talk with Rachel Aviv, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Hari Kunzru will talk with Parul Sehgal, and Elif Batuman and Gary Shteyngart will talk with Molly Fischer. On Sunday, October 9, Rachel Kushner and Ottessa Moshfegh will talk with Deborah Treisman. 

    Emma Straub has been posting tributes to her father, the award-winning horror writer Peter Straub, who died last week. Among the photos here is a handwritten list of poets that Peter recommended when Emma opened her Brooklyn bookstore Books Are Magic:

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  • Yoko Tawada. Photo: Nina Subin 
    September 09, 2022

    Yoko Tawada and Hernan Diaz are among the 2022 Kirkus Prize finalists; Sarah Jones remembers Barbara Ehrenreich

    Sarah Jones offers a remembrance of activist and author Barbara Ehrenreich, who died last week, at Intelligencer. Jones first encountered Ehrenreich’s work when her mother was reading Nickel and Dimed. “What astonished me early about Ehrenreich’s work wasn’t just that she, as an individual, cared about the working poor, but that she could get others to do the same. From my vantage as the daughter of a precarious family, it looked like Ehrenreich had performed a magic trick. With time, though, I came to understand something about how she managed it. Ehrenreich’s power as a social critic is a

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  • Donna Tartt. Photo: Beowulf Sheehan/Little, Brown
    September 08, 2022

    Donna Tartt’s The Secret History at thirty; books to read this fall

    For the New Statesman, Nick Burns reconsiders Donna Tartt’s novel The Secret History on its thirtieth anniversary. Reflecting on its continuing appeal, Burns notes that “Tartt’s characters take the world of Waugh’s Brideshead as a model for their tastes, attire, manner of speaking, and The Secret History offers an invitation into a select society devoted to this kind of re-enactment.”   

    The Root rounds up a list of books by Black authors to look forward to this month. Lit Hub suggests twenty-two novels to read this fall

    Community Bookstore is hosting a virtual event with Merve Emre and

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  • NoViolet Bulawayo. © NyeLynTho
    September 07, 2022

    The 2022 Booker Prize shortlist; Ryan Ruby on Alexander Kluge’s “information epic”

    The 2022 shortlist for the Booker Prize has been announced. Among the nominees are Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William!, Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Percival Everett’s The Trees, NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory, Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, and Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker

    Jay Caspian Kang, author of The Loneliest Americans, is joining the New Yorker as a staff column writer. Most recently, Kang contributed to the opinion section of the New York Times in a twice-weekly newsletter. 

    Real Life, an online magazine about living with technology founded in 2016, has

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  • Barbara Ehrenreich. Photo: Stephen Voss.
    September 06, 2022

    Barbara Ehrenreich has died at age eighty-one; Justin Taylor on Phish

    Barbara Ehrenreich, an activist, journalist, and author of more than twenty books, had died at age eighty-one. In 2012, she founded the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a program to support independent journalists and foster stories about inequality and poverty. Discussing the impetus for the project in a 2020 New Yorker interview with Jia Tolentino, Ehrenreich recalls writing stories for the New York Times Sunday Review about the recession, a project that she lost money on: “I thought, What kind of bullshit is this? Only rich people can write about poverty? That’s when the idea of E.H.R.P.

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  • Rachel Aviv. Photo: Rose Lichter-Marck
    September 02, 2022

    Rachel Aviv to discuss mental illness at the National Book Festival; a group reading of Italo Svevo’s “Zeno’s Conscience”

    New Yorker staff writer Rachel Aviv will discuss her first book, Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us, tomorrow with Daniel Bergner in a panel at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Several other events with the author have also been announced. 

    At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson looks at how the advice of best-selling personal finance books compares to economic theory. Thompson talked with James Choi, a Yale professor who studied fifty such books and recently published the paper “Popular Personal Financial Advice Versus the Professors.” Choi found that

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  • Abdulrazak Gurnah. Photo: Amrei-Marie.
    September 01, 2022

    Patrick Blanchfield on Freud; Abdulrazak Gurnah on his latest novel

    Patrick Blanchfield writes for the New Republic about Freud’s last days in Vienna: “If Freud himself, so attuned to the dark undercurrents of human behavior and so critical of the false security offered by our wishful illusions, proved unable to think clearly even as his country became unrecognizable around him and as nightmare after nightmare became real, what are our chances now?”

    Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, talks with V. V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell for the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast. Gurnah’s latest novel, Afterlives, was published this month.

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  • James Benning. Photo: Manfred Werner/Tsui/Wikimedia Commons
    August 31, 2022

    A profile of English novelist Gwendoline Riley; Blair McClendon on California and James Benning’s films

    Online at the New York Review of Books, Blair McClendon writes about California, American spectacle, and James Benning’s installations and films, which “are perhaps best categorized as landscapes.” Benning’s latest film, The United States of America, is a remake of a 1975 work, and seems to offer portraits of each state—but all the footage was shot in California. Of his home state, McClendon writes: “California is a brutal place playing at paradise. Benning looks long enough at the land to see its pretensions and its realities.” 

    The latest issue of New Left Review is now online, with Benjamin

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  • Michelle Goldberg
    August 30, 2022

    Michelle Goldberg on culture, status, and boredom; Robin D. G. Kelley on Black anti-work politics

    In the latest issue of Lux magazine, an interview with Robin D. G. Kelley about Black anti-work politics. Asked about his definition of anti-work, Kelley says, “I don’t mean resistance to work or labor per se. I mean resistance to wage labor alienation, proletarianization, and misery. Fighting the routinization of work means fighting a division of labor that isn’t our own.”  

    For Alta magazine, Jim Ruland considers Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vice. Ruland writes that while the book has often been panned by critics, it offers a “skeleton key” to the elusive author’s work. He travels to the

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