Says debut novelist Elliott Colla (Baghdad Central): “Noir is where the clarity of moral divisions break down, the black and whites turn into grays. I was thinking about this particular moment of compromise on the part of the US, where it was learning how to make alliances with all sorts of Shiite groups in order to occupy, and creating all sorts of new divisions that didn’t exist before.” Here.
On Chicago: “the unexpected cultural centre of European modernism.” Here.
“When I read [James Baldwin's] Another Country when I was in my early 20s, you know, as soon as I put the book down, my first thought was I will never be able to write a book like this. And my second thought was I really want to try writing a book like this for the 21st century.” Here‘s debut author Jess Row (Your Face in Mine).
Here‘s a Jewish Literary Map of New York City.
“Sometimes bleak . . . just as often awestruck, swashbuckling, or slyly funny.” Here‘s the lowdown on British novelist China Miéville (Railsea).
Welcome debut novelist Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves, a 620-page saga of three generations in an Irish-American family from Queens, New York. Here.
“Something striking has happened to the self-esteem of American children during the era of raising our children to feel good. They have never been more depressed.” Here.
“Signs of the ‘impulse society’ are everywhere: in the toxic housing bubble and access to easy credit that led to our financial meltdown; corporate profits that go to buying back company stock to preserve share prices and executive compensation; a political system that functions more like a business; the role of the media in sorting us into marketing fragments, leading to our politically polarized culture; and the increase in the number of people being diagnosed with symptoms of clinical narcissism, among other issues.” Here‘s a review of The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification.
“The most difficult achievement is the capacity to see oneself, to name oneself, to imagine oneself.” Here‘s novelist Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay).
Here‘s novelist David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks): “I ask if he is afraid of dying. He borrows Woody Allen’s line: No, he just doesn’t want to be there when it happens. We laugh, and stop laughing, and for a while there’s just the water lapping against the pier, gently, like the rib cage of something large that’s sleeping.”
So much for punishing corporate criminals! “[UVA law professor Brandon L. Garrett] finds that federal prosecutors, despite their vaunted powers, are cast in the role of David, not Goliath, when seeking to punish multinational corporations with nearly unlimited budgets to hire lawyers. The prosecutors courageous enough to mount cases against corporations fail to go after high-level individuals within those corporations, lessening any deterrence effect.” Here.