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.
A new story by George Saunders called ‘Mother’s Day’ in The New York Times.
The trees along Pine Street that every spring bloomed purple flowers had bloomed purple flowers. So what? What was the big deal? It happened every spring. Pammy kept saying, “Look at the flowers, Ma. Ain’t them flowers amazing?”
Alexander Chee on historical fiction and if it can be literature.
What I knew is that when I would describe the subject of my novel to friends—an opera singer in the court of France’s Second Empire is afraid her voice is cursed, dooming her to repeat the fates of her roles—they would look at me, confused, only to respond, “Oh, you’re writing a historical novel.” The only answer to such a question was yes, and yet I felt somehow misunderstood.
Ann Beattie shares five things with Granta.
Let’s admit that there’s a lot of drinking in Key West. You’ve got the choice of putting on your Santa suit and passing out on Duval Street (not kidding: my husband and I turned the corner a few Christmases ago, and there he was, passed out cold) or joining in with the annual alcohol festival called Fantasy Fest (one of my former students, seeing images on TV, emailed to ask: ‘Ann! Are you okay?’).
Lev Grossman on the TV show of his novel The Magicians.
I found it really hard. It took me 5 years to get a Magicians show made. I was pushing and talking to people constantly from when the book came out. In 2014 they finally greenlit it, and then when they finally greenlit it, I had some panics. There were some ledges that I needed to be talked down of. I mean, being a novelist, like being a lab technician, it’s one of those careers you choose in order to avoid talking to people or dealing with their opinions. It’s a real control freak’s medium.
Victoria Aveyard has some theories about the new Star Wars movie during her AMA.
I’m thinking she’s Obi-Wan’s granddaughter. She’s got a British accent and she heard Obi-Wan when she touched Anakin’s lightsaber. Plus Obi-Wan’s granddaughter vs. Anakin’s grandson?? YES PLEASE.
BOMB Magazine talks to Margo Jefferson about her memoir, her mother and a film she was in.
She was playful, but she did want my sister and me to be perfect. Perfect ladies, but not at the expense of being perfectly accomplished students, of having what she thought of as good ethics. She once told me, “You don’t just want to have personality, you want to have character.”
Rosie Schaap wrote about how William Blake might have saved her life.
Please suspend your disbelief: Long ago, when I was feverish with pneumonia, a lamb with the face of the poet and artist William Blake appeared in my room and implored me not to lie down. His advice might have saved my life. But somehow, I never visited Blake’s grave to thank him until last August.