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.

Emma Straub wrote a manual for budding baby-sitters.
You are a human alarm system. When the babies cry, put on your headphones and listen to music. Fussing a little, you text, ok stopped :). The newer the parents, the more smiley faces. Neither of you wants them to hurry home. Eat an entire sleeve of Oreos — any more or less and it would be too conspicuous.

New fiction by Otessa Moshfegh in The New Yorker, called Beach Boy.
The friends met for dinner, as they did the second Sunday of every month, at a small Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side. There were three couples: Marty and Barbara, Jerry and Maureen, and John and Marcia, who had recently returned from a weeklong island getaway to celebrate their twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. “Were the beaches beautiful? How was the hotel? Was it safe? Was it memorable? Was it worth the money?” the friends asked.

Lincoln Michel and Amber Sparks, both authors of strange fiction, got together and that’s when things got weird.
I mean, for the vast majority of people, and that includes aliens and fairy tale characters, work is an enormous part of your life whether you love it, hate it, or tolerate it. I’ve always been engaged on the social justice side of fighting for workers, and that certainly translates into a certain amount of writing I do about the less glamorous jobs, too. But that’s also why I do what I do for a living—it’s very hard for me to separate the intent from the action—the job from the writing about the jobs. (Also: not only do your characters need to have jobs, but they can’t all be writers, struggling or successful. Please no more stories about writers writing in coffee shops, dear Jesus.)

Elena Ferrante doesn’t give out a lot of interviews, but the Sydney Harold got to ask her a few questions via email.
When readers today think they are meeting the author, in reality they’re meeting a man or a woman, rich or poor in humanity, but who has already left their role as author. The author – and his capacity to develop the quality of the linguistic material to which he resorts – is present only in the works.

A story called The Present Tense by Hilary Mantel.
‘Today we are going to have a nice lesson,’ I say.
Twenty-nine faces, upturned: all dubious. I think, you don’t know how nice it will be, compared to the nasty lessons ahead. Next year is Cambridge Certificate, and we will have The Mill on the Floss till our brains bleed.

Carly Hallman is the author of Year of the Goose, about being a modern day sleuth.
The way I approached Year of the Goose was, indeed, also largely influenced by internet clickholes, and more specifically, how I (and many people) now access news and information. Say, god forbid, there’s some catastrophic event somewhere in the world. Maybe first I’ll read a reference to its occurrence on Twitter. Then, I’ll log onto to a news website or app like the BBC and read an article. Then maybe I’ll go back to Twitter and see what else people are saying. Then I’ll turn on the TV, watch and listen to what CNN has to add. Meanwhile, I’m logging onto Facebook scrolling through commentary from “friends.” On and on it goes. Coming to a story this way makes me feel like I’m a part of it, like I’m a badass sleuth trying to get to the bottom of things. I’m definitely not, but I do enjoy the feeling!

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Author

Bored to Death book club is set up by two sisters who love to read and have nothing better to do than to start a book club.

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