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.
Audrey Niffenegger shares her Ghostly playlist.
This is a playlist for Ghostly, an anthology of ghost stories I edited and illustrated. All of the stories feature houses, lovers, children or cats: things that are frequently haunted. The stories are not especially grotesque or frightening. They are quiet and they linger, as good ghosts should.
The White Review talked to Zadie Smith about an old essay she wrote.
I think the binary thinking of that essay has been elegantly exploded in variety. Just looking around my desk I wouldn’t know where to place, in the terms of that essay.
A conversation between Laura van den Berg and Elisa Gabbert.
You know what? I used to really sweat that idea of keeping the narrators distinct more than I do at this moment. I’ve accepted that there is, for now at least, a particular kind of voice and psychological landscape I’m repeatedly drawn to.
Authors share their own white whales after the Moby Dick Marathon.
There can only be one answer. I’m a novelist. The white whale is the next novel; it’s the next big question that I’m trying to answer that I’m going to generate 100,000–200,000 words towards, in attempt to capture, or subdue, or fill whatever impulses that are driving it. . . . It’s the novel I haven’t quite finished, or thought of yet. Novels are huge, and the pages are so white, and blank. It’s very whale-like to think of.”
Lincoln Michel on the myths of popularity.
The massively popular books are very rarely among the best, whether shelved as “genre” or as “literary.” Want to know what the best-selling book of the year has been? Go Set a Watchmen, a cash-grab novel that many have argued was unethical to even publish. The second? Grey, another cash-grab where E. L. James rewrote 50 Shades from a male point of view. (And, yes, Hollywood “reboot” culture is absolutely coming to the literary world in the near future. I mean, hey, it’s popular.)