The Latest from the Front Lines of Literature

Presented by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Writers and editors on craft, publishing, reception, and more...

Writers in Conversation, Editors and Authors in Conversation, and more...

Considerations of Willa Cather, George Plimpton, Seamus Heaney, and more...

“If we do not root ourselves in others’ hearts, / our lives are spent on the periphery.” - Averill Curdy

"Reading translations can give you a broader vision of the world and of people and emotions" - Rosalind Harvey

Jonathan Franzen, Marilynne Robinson, Etgar Keret, and more from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

  • In so far as there is an image of Berryman that exists in the public imagination, these clips are its embodiment: the poet’s beard is fulsome and his spectacles are large, black, and thickly-framed; he is wearing what might be a shoulder-padded overcoat. Berryman’s delivery is stilted, almost unnervingly so: his speech is alternately halting and rushed; he gestures extravagantly; his head bobs and weaves. Berryman “was drunk during filming, as the attentive viewer may notice,” runs the quippy description under the video, and sure, he was probably that too. More than drunk, though, he looks pained. Each word seems to come from a great distance, to emerge only after a violent struggle.

  • In an office about one hundred feet above the mine opening, Carlos Pinilla, the hard-driving general manager, hears the thunder crack and his first thought is: But they’re not supposed to be blasting today. He concludes that it’s probably another collapse of rock inside the Pit, which is nothing to be worried about. But the sound of rolling thunder doesn’t stop. His phone rings, and the voice on the line says, “Step out your door and look at the mine entrance.” Pinilla walks into the midday sun and sees a billowing cloud of dust bigger than any he’s seen before.

  • We’ve rounded up some of the best of what our authors have been doing, reading, and thinking this week.

Quotes
  • “We narrate our lives as we live them, making sense of the chaos by organizing our experiences.”

    Nelly Reifler

  • “I want to be honest with readers, that is my pact with them.”

    Jonathan Franzen

  • “Don’t go to events; go to the receptions after the events. If possible, skip the receptions and go to the afterparties, where you can have a real conversation with someone.”

    Sarah Manguso

  • “Sip your coffee in the warm glow of first light. This is not writing. This is the idea of writing. Go back to bed.”

    Aaron Hirsh

  • “I really do believe literary fiction as a genre is more backward- than forward-looking. I suspect it believes in inevitability more than contingency. I fear it prefers memories to plans.”

    Robin Sloan

  • “My joy is the joy of the Trickster. It’s the joy of Loki. It’s the joy of the Coyote, because I know it’s an unstable system, and it will be overthrown, no matter how majestic it is.”

    Sjón

  • “Americans continue to visit Paris not just for Paris, but for ‘Paris.’ As if out of some collective nostalgia for what Paris should be, more than what it is. For someone else’s memories.”

    Rosecrans Baldwin