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.
Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of Hausfrau, talks to Electric Literature about her poetry, Anna Karenina and about liking her own character.
She may not be likeable. She doesn’t need to be. But she desperately needs to be loved. And not in the way that she’s been seeking it. I think I love her. We should love her. And not because she merits it. But because she doesn’t.
Karen Russel is being interviewed by Guernica.
That kind of cowardice didn’t fall away until college, when I discovered Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, and Angela Carter. I could not believe these writers existed. Then when I read Flannery O’Connor, she really took the lid off my skull. Her blending of the grotesque and the comic as well as her reverence for mystery really affected me.
And we’re turning this into a sibling feature with an interview with Kent Russel, Karen’s brother.
It’s not competitive in the least. I’m Karen’s biggest fan and she’s my biggest champion. I’d quit doing this in a second if it meant that her already beautiful blessed career could be furthered in any extent. We all knew Karen was the one. She would pick up anything in the house and read it, lost in a world for a couple hours and wouldn’t notice if you clapped in her face. Karen was always going to be the best writer around, but she still encouraged me. We went in different directions, but we’re watered from the same root.
Helen Oyeyemi was in Boston to speak at a college and talked to The Boston Globe while she was there.
I’m judging two book prizes at the moment, which means I’ll to have read about 200 books by the end of the year. I’ve had to put myself on a reading schedule of 250 pages a day. I’d normally read about 100 books in a leisurely way. I think I bit off more than I can chew.
David Graeber, author of The Utopia of Rules tells Flavorwire about his interest in anthropology and bureaucracy.
Traditionally anthropologists have done the opposite. They’ve been that guy sitting in the corner contradicting anything you say. The anthropologist has been the guy — we call him the Bongo-Bongoist in anthropology — who contradicts, who says “well, actually, among the Bongo-Bongo tribe, the primordial ties are…” But when anthropologists do generalize, things start looking different from what we assume.