Are you interested in the thoughts and lives of the bookish people of today? Don’t look any further and read the best interviews of the week.
Rebecca Makkai tackles the question of what it’s like to write that second novel and how it differs from the first.
Book #1: You say yes to everything, because it’s all so damn exciting!
Book #2: You say yes to everything, because you are terrified to say no to anything.
A new Michael Chabon story is always good news. Read Switzerland Today in full:
Over breakfast my grandmother informed me that there was a boy my age living in the house next door whom I was going to be obliged to befriend.
Miriam Toews of All My Puny Sorrows talked to The Rumpus about the autobiographical aspects of the book, therapy and the Death of Dignity Act.
People have suggested, after my father died, that I should see a therapist—especially after my sister died—and that makes sense, right? With these tragic deaths, these suicides, you need someone to talk to besides friends and family.
And another short story, this one by David Sedaris. He writes about going to the beach in winter and how you can have fun there.
As I grow older, I find that the people I know become crazy in one of two ways. The first is animal crazy—more specifically, dog crazy. They’re the ones who, when asked if they have children, are likely to answer, “A black lab and a sheltie-beagle mix named Tuckahoe.” Then they add—they always add—“They were rescues!”
In Book Notes Thomas Pierce, author of Hall of Small Mammals tells about his musical choices for the short story collection.
Does God look like Allen Ginsberg? What’s a hallelujah bath? Did aliens create life on earth? A girl named Ellie feels spiritually adrift. Boyfriends, jobs–everything seems temporary. I imagine her listening to this song–which I think she’d like as much as I do–with the windows down in her car as she moves back home after a breakup.
Last week we already noted how excited we are about Almost Famous Women, so if you are as well have a look at this interview with Megan Mayhew Bergman.
Biographers are cautioned not to fall in love with their subjects, not to make heroes out of them–and that was important for me as well. I did not want to over-romanticize these women, or write a book with a feminist agenda in neon lights (okay, it’s more, say, fluorescent bathroom bulbs).