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.
We’ve read H is for Hawk and will write you a review real soon, but for now you can read and listen to this interview with Helen MacDonald.
I just became this very, very strange creature. I used to get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, and then just pick the hawk up off her perch, and go off into the wild. And I’d watch her fly for hours on end and I’d get covered in mud and thorn scratches. I just became this very different beast.
Sheila Heti talks to The Cut about bringing her play back from the dead.
Well, I’m happy that I wrote How Should a Person Be? and I wouldn’t have written that exact book if we had just done the play. So much of the book is about the anxiety of failure — the failure of the play and the failure of the divorce and the failure of not feeling like a good person. Those feelings in the book came out of real feelings I was having about all of those things.
Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel is making the rounds and so is he. He talks to NPR about his discontent.
But I think at a deeper level, what we see is people are becoming hybridized, mongrelized. They’re becoming Western, Muslim, American, Pakistani — at the same time. And if we can encourage that kind of hybridization, mongrelization, and look at it as a good thing, I think we’re relatively safe.
Chris Parris-Lamb, literary agent of some very successful authors, talks about the art of agenting.
I just see an awful lot of people who believe that what makes a novel is eighty thousand consecutive words. I just wish I read more submissions where it felt like the author had taken great care with it, had spent a lot of time on it, and had a better idea—or any idea at all—of the books they saw their own as being in conversation with, as well as of how theirs was unique. Most submissions I see feel like someone checking “write a novel” off their bucket list.
Elliot Holt was supposed to hand in his essay on Tess of the D’Ubervilles 25 years ago. Instead of doing so he wrote about it for Slate.
I’d always been an A-student in English; I couldn’t believe I was about to fail. But fail I did, and spectacularly. I got an F on the assignment, which resulted in a D for the semester. I was sure I had destroyed my future, and I was profoundly ashamed.