It arrived, in truth, the novel, late at self-consciousness; but it has done its utmost ever since to make up for lost opportunities. So wrote Henry James on April 11, 1900, in an essay in The New York Times (PDF) on the future of the novel. He’d begun work on The Ambassadors the previous summer […]
From an interview with AbeBooks: Why did the story of George Edjali and his court case fascinate you and end up as the focal point of Arthur and George? Well, it seemed a) a very unusual story (the animal mutilation, the miscarriage of justice, the racial aspect); and b) something that could still happen today, […]
An “interactive crowd-sourced literary” map and multimedia profiles of 150 Great Books from Book Drum and more on the crowd-funded UK publishing platform Unbound from this Little Atoms podcast Craig Fehrman in the New York Times on the failure of the American Book Awards to seize the, um, popular literary imagination Up to half a […]
The New Yorker has a wonderful profile (abstract) of Pixar writer and director Andrew Stanton who’s making the leap from animation to live action with John Carter due out in spring of 2012. He makes some clip-worthy comments on writing and art. Stanton on the triumph of the old studio system at Pixar: [S]ome of […]
From The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling: As usual in his more mature work, [Kipling] obsessively excised superfluous words – and quite often words that would have made the sense rather clearer. ‘Wordiness is effeminacy, and unforgivable,’ he told poor Edmund Gosse, who had sinned: unnecessary words were ‘the enemy of vigour’ […]
I love seeing writers’ rooms. I wrote my first (though, hopefully, not my last) book in a then-broken down, legally contested and now shut down-student flat in West Beirut with a lemon tree painted on the wall. A lot less glamorous, not at all Victorian, but a memorable sanctuary nonetheless.
Award-winning crime writer and journalist Matt Beynon Rees has several good podcasts on researching, writing and editing a book, as well as meditating for writers. Rees has lived in Jerusalem for more than a decade and is the author of the first Palestinian detective series, starting with The Collaborator of Bethlehem. I love how the […]
A 1994 interview with Robert Gottlieb, former editor in chief of Knopf; Simon & Schuster; and The New Yorker, is so much more thanks to the creativity (and connections) of Larissa MacFarquhar – a window into the golden age of publishing, a side-to-side view of the writing and reading experience, and a portrait of the […]