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 Donoghue’s Room was nominated for an Oscar and the writer tells about her experience.
Yes, on the radio. I was preparing myself to sound polite and cheerful if we didn’t get any nominations. I was putting on my psychological armour. I cried out briefly when my name came up, but, to be honest, when Lenny Abrahamson was nominated for best director I shrieked more loudly, because none of us saw that one coming. Industry pundits had said that he would not have any chance at best director, so I’m the most excited about that.
Ben Lerner wrote a postscript for the poet C.D. Wright, who died last week.
And now I’m sitting here surrounded by her books—a new volume came out this month—with the distinct feeling that I would need to possess C. D.’s mixture of precision and pathos and dark humor in order to begin describing what we’ve lost. She was to me and so many poets an exemplary and inimitable figure.
And listen while you read this NPR interview with Elizabeth Strout about her highly anticipated novel.
I wasn’t particularly thinking about my own mother, but I am very interested in mothers and daughters, and I’ve written about them before, although I’ve always written about different mothers and different daughters. So I was – you know, obviously I’m drawn to that, and I think it’s because, you know, it’s such a primal relationship. It’s the way we first see the world – most of us.
The Rumpus interviewed Sunil Yapa about his debut novel.
That kind of faint praise is the worst. Then you spend ten years of your life working on a project that was a stillbirth. And it’s not that they were bad ideas. They just would have been technically out of my skill, even though this one was too.
Nick Harkaway discusses if festivals should pay their authors.
What’s actually happening when you go to a festival — aside from the fact that many of us just really like reading to people and maybe getting a round of applause, which we only get to do once every couple of years after spending most of that time locked in a fairly small room staring at an outdated display, begging Microsoft Word not to stall, and sucking tea out of the keyboard — is that you’re hoping to take off and fly. You’re hoping to start a chain reaction that produces sufficient reputational energy to break you free of the sucking gravity of the midlist and hurl you into orbit, where the bestsellers roam, and film deals and Booker Prizes go round and round, twinkling and usually out of reach. You’re hoping for a lottery win.
Rachel Cantor has a new book, so check out this Q&A and get excited.
I was hoping to write a short piece that would (finally) complete a linked short story collection I was writing about Shira Greene, child expatriate, wandering young adult, and middle-aged single mother/translator/writer. Perhaps because of the time and space afforded me by that residency, the story got longer … and longer … and longer. Eventually I had to concede I was writing a novella; then, disappointed, I realized I was writing a novel.