Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘lit and identity’

Interviews |

Letting Tinkerbell Die: An Interview with Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem discusses our unwillingness to let go of the Tinkerbell-myth of benevolent power, MFA programs, the idea of New York City as a Ponzi scheme, why in some ways subcultures are all that exist, and his past and future work in this wide-ranging interview with Roohi Choudhry.


Interviews |

Grunge Rock, Nabokov, and the Threat of Nuclear Apocalypse: An Interview with Tyler McMahon

Tyler McMahon’s new novel, How the Mistakes Were Made, is a tragedy set to rock and roll. In this conversation with Caleb Winters, McMahon recalls the paranoia of Cold War America, shares his experiences touring with a band, and reveals how writing can be like church.


Shop Talk |

We're going to miss almost everything

NPR commentator Linda Holmes has a beautiful essay on how we’re going to miss almost everything—and why that’s okay: Culling is the choosing you do for yourself. It’s the sorting of what’s worth your time and what’s not worth your time. It’s saying, “I deem Keeping Up With The Kardashians a poor use of my time, and therefore, I choose not to watch it.” It’s saying, “I read the last Jonathan Franzen book and fell asleep six times, so I’m not going to read this one.” Surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time […]


Shop Talk |

Open a book, become someone else

A Lithuanian bookstore has created a gorgeous campaign called “Become Someone Else” (“Pabū kuo nors kitu”) showing the transformative power of books. The Love Agency, the advertising firm that created the campaign, has all of the images up online. (Via GalleyCat.) And there’s evidence that books have literal (ha ha) transformative powers as well. A study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine finds “each increasing quartile of print media use was associated with a 50% decrease in the odds of having MDD,” or major depressive disorder. In other words, the more teens read, the less likey they were […]


Essays |

Looking Backward: Third-Generation Fiction Writers and the Holocaust

As the annual observance of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) approaches, Erika Dreifus discusses the literary kinship among works from an emerging cohort of “3G” (third-generation) Jewish writers: Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge, Alison Pick’s Far to Go, and Natasha Solomons’ Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English.


Reviews |

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, by Peter Mountford

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is not your grandfather’s expat novel. In this smart debut, Peter Mountford rolls up his sleeves and delivers a crash course in Latin American history, contemporary economics, and international politics—all within a page-turning story about the dreams and gaffes of a twenty-something American working for an unscrupulous hedge fund in Bolivia.


Interviews |

A Little Distance to See Clearly: An Interview with Deanna Fei

Reading Deanna Fei’s debut novel, A Thread of Sky, rescued Kate Levin from a giant post-MFA funk. In this conversation with Levin, Fei discusses the role cultural identity plays in a writer’s persona and work, the value of unknowability, the secret to writing great sex scenes, the reason she watches Jersey Shore—and more.


Essays |

The Seamless Skin: Translation’s Halting Flow

Jennifer Solheim weaves the story of her decade-long translation of Yolaine Simha’s I Saw You on the Street into a meditation on the nature of the translator’s labor. Solheim looks at history, politics, time and rereading to parse how “translation can become a snake biting its own tail: the translator as writer and reader is simultaneously subsumed and resurrected by the text in the original.”




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