Nearly fifteen years after her debut essay collection, My Misspent Youth, unforgettably captured the anxieties, aspirations, and hypocrisies of a generation, Meghan Daum returns to the personal essay with a masterful collection of previously unpublished work, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion. In these insightful and provocative new essays, Daum pushes back against false sentimentality and manufactured emotion in American life. Here, she talks about the new book, womanhood, and being mercilessly honest in her writing.
No one ever makes it out of Area X—you know that. Longitude and latitude are just a conspiracy to disguise the facts. There is plenty of fresh air in here, though. I’m still immersed, although sometimes I’m not sure if I’m in Area X or in Southern Reach HQ. Not that it makes a difference. In fact, it’s possible this is still part of the dream that started with me walking down into a tunnel-tower one night. If so, it’s turned out to be kind of a nice dream, in the end.
The thirty-three Chilean miners buried in the Copiapó mine disaster were rescued four years ago this month. When they were still underground, the miners agreed that should they survive, they would only tell their story together, once, to one person. Novelist and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar wound up being that person. Here, he talks with his editor, Sean McDonald, about his relationships with the miners, and rising to the challenge of telling their story in Deep Down Dark.
Winston Churchill said that being shot at unsuccessfully is an exhilarating moment in a man’s life. I was at the top of the Hollywood Hills near my home, recording an interview, when I heard a loud bang. I assumed the camera had exploded because it felt as if I had been hit in the stomach by a chunk of glowing metal, but it was intact. Then, some distance away, I saw a man with a gun, ducking out of sight on a veranda.
One of the great pleasures of seeing The Southern Reach Trilogy in print has been the ingenuity and sophistication of the foreign language editions. Among the absolute best of the many versions are Destino’s covers for the Spanish editions.
In April 2014, art director Charlotte Strick and typographer Jude Landry gave FSG’s Bernard Malamud library a sharp makeover on the occasion of Malamud’s centenary. Here we reveal the new, soon-to-be-classic covers for the first time, and Charlotte and Jude discuss the ins and outs giving a new look to a true icon of twentieth-century American literature.
Poet-priest Spencer Reece’s long-awaited second collection, The Road to Emmaus, fittingly opens with this epigraph from Isak Dinesen. Reece’s disarmingly straightforward, vulnerable narrative poems are haunted by loss and charged with the effort to preserve the ephemeral, the fleeting.
Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know tells the story of a friendship—and the betrayal of that friendship—set against the backdrop of economic crisis and the war in Afghanistan. Editor Eric Chinski talked with Rahman recently about his debut novel, the power fiction has to explore human psychology, Rahman’s use of epigraphs, and the crucial role that Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem plays in the narrative.
Tim Finch sat down recently with his editor, Ileene Smith, to discuss flammable prose, meta-fiction, and Orwellian influences. The House of Journalists will be published on September 3rd.
A heartfelt introduction by Björk is a hard act to follow. But when Sjón and Hari Kunzru took the stage at Scandinavia House, The Nordic Center in America, they pulled out all the stops…
Authors in Conversation “Americans continue to visit Paris not just for Paris, but for ‘Paris,’” Rosecrans Baldwin, author of Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down, wrote in an email just before Bastille Day. “As if out of some collective nostalgia for what Paris should be, more than what it is.” He was […]
Authors in Conversation “The truth is that if my fiction is rooted in a sense of place, then I’m pretty sure that place is other books,” says Kevin Brockmeier, author most recently of The Illumination. Brockmeier and Brent Hendricks, whose book A Long Day at the End of the World was published by FSG in […]
The Nathaniel Rich and Robin Sloan Emails On May 7th, Robin Sloan and Nathaniel Rich sat down in front of an audience at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco to discuss the role of fiction in interpreting the future. After the event, the conversation continued online. Dear Robin, The future and the novel. Where to […]
Authors in Conversation Charles Yu: I’m re-reading Idiopathy and I’m dumbstruck by how good it is—sentence by sentence you illustrate these characters with prose that is economical and precise and delicate and acidic, and you have this impeccable sense of rhythm and pacing and sound. This is your first novel, and so my first question […]
Authors and Editors in Conversation Sean McDonald: So, 7th-century England! How did that happen? Your last novel was a distinctly 21st-century crime novel. How did you end up writing Hild? Nicola Griffith: In my early twenties I was living in Hull, a depressed (and depressing) industrialised city in East Yorkshire. For a break, for […]
Jeffrey Eugenides by John Freeman For the past fifteen years or so, whenever a novel has been published, John Freeman has been there to greet it. As a critic for over two hundred newspapers worldwide and onetime president of the NBCC, he’s reviewed thousands of books and interviewed hundreds of authors. You might have thought […]
Authors and Editors in Conversation Ileene Smith: The title essay of your recently published volume—Forty-one False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers—is an ingenious portrait of the artist David Salle that is taught in journalism schools. At what point did you decide to construct the piece as a series of “false starts”? Janet Malcolm: In […]
Authors and Editors in Conversation Sean McDonald: How surreal has it been to watch your debut novel, Hemlock Grove, become a TV series? How closely does it track what you imagined when you were writing? Brian McGreevy: There has been no shortage of interesting or disconcerting moments; for instance, standing in a physical location that […]