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.
Laura van den Berg and Jeff vanderMeer talk to each other about the peculiar state of Florida.
The weird theme parks! I love them. Holy Land is in Orlando, as is Gatorland, which is pretty much my waking nightmare, due to a deep fear of reptiles (this was not an easy fear to have when I lived in Florida; I once slept in my car because lizards had gotten into my apartment). Really, though, what does Disney have on theme parks that recreate biblical times or allow you to zip line over a pit full of gators?
Chloe Caldwell talks to The Rumpus about her novella Women, her earlier essays and semi-autobiographical writing.
I wonder, does the book have more meaning to some people if it’s all true? And is it less compelling if I made it all up? When the book was still in galleys, a girl messaged me on Twitter and was like, “Is there a Finn? I want/need this all to be true.” Why? If the book didn’t have the word “autobiographical” attached to it, would the book be less absorbing?
The A.V. Club asked Scott McCloud to create a list of works that deal with artistic frustration.
Technically, I suppose most of my career has been failure. I had a series in color and it failed. It got canceled. Then I had another series in black and white, and it failed. It got canceled. Understanding Comics was the first thing I had that succeeded, and that was followed by projects of questionable value to the market. But somehow I could always do another one, is the thing. I always survived, and it was almost always entirely mine.
The New York Times interviews Kelly Link, whose new book is coming out very soon and for which we are very excited!
I love ghost stories with all my heart. Aside from that, I’m drawn to any kind of story where a kind of joy-in-writing comes through. If there’s the sense that the writer is working their way through a kind of interesting problem (moral, structural, philosophical), that’s a bonus.
Naming your characters can be awful. Luckily Nick Harkaway is willing to give you some tips.
The thing is that choosing a name means choosing an identity. I wasn’t just looking for a place of my own on the bookshelf, I was looking for a little semantic firework display that would make you take notice and tell you about me. Names aren’t just coathooks, they’re coats.
Moving in together poses one big problem: How are you going to combine your books? Alexander Chee knows the trouble.
“No,” he said. He was not interested in that. This made me a little cautious. “How about if we combine our fiction?” I asked next. There were gaps left by the books heading upstate—room enough for his novels and stories to fit in there.
“Sure,” he said, and so I began.