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.
Hilary Mantel shares her writing day.
Flow is like a mad party – it goes on till all hours and somebody must clear up afterwards. Stop-start days are not always shorter, are self-conscious and anxiety-ridden, and later turn out to have been productive and useful. I judge in retrospect. On flow days, I have no idea what I’ve written till I read it back. It’s a life with shocks built in.
Amelia Gray interviews Catherine Lacey for The Towner
Agreed. But then all these motherfuckers are like, Well, what’s good work? Isn’t it subjective? And that’s true, sort of. I think the problem is that people think they have to like something in order for it to be “good.” You really don’t!! There are so many novels I can acknowledge as good but I don’t necessarily like them.
Michelle de Kretser talks to Vol. 1 Brooklyn about her decision to write a novella this time around.
I guess it does, in the sense that this kind of text relies on a certain tension generated by ambiguities and misapprehensions, which would be difficult to sustain for the length of a novel. At the same time, the novella allows more room than the short story for character development, which is necessary since those ambiguities are psychological, produced by an individual way of perceiving the world.
Esmé Weijun Wang’s debut novel is much talked about and she explains what it took to get it published.
[Placing this book] dragged out, I think, for about two years. It was rejected approximately 40 times. It ultimately was picked up by Unnamed Press, which I am so grateful for. But that was pretty much a last-ditch effort for me. I sent it unsolicited to them, and they liked it. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.