This week, I’m all about the authors. The ones I love. The ones whose books I want to read. The one whose book I’m currently reading for our next Novel Incubator alumni book club (A Little Life).
It’s a smorgasbord of author insights as those of us here in Boston prepare for a litany of literary events this weekend with the Boston Book Festival.
- “‘Oh, she’s a national treasure!’ says the customs officer.” Boston lit lovers can find Margaret Atwood tonight at the Boston Book Festival (the event is sold out, but you can become a BBF member and get a complimentary ticket according to the website). Online lit lovers can read her thoughts on VAMPIRES, GENE-SPLICING, AND TALKING TURNIPS. (I left all caps on the title because it felt more dramatic)
- “… one of the things that I don’t get a chance to do as often as I’d like is just to have a conversation with somebody who I enjoy and I’m interested in; to hear from them and have a conversation with them about some of the broader cultural forces that shape our democracy and shape our ideas, and shape how we feel about citizenship and the direction that the country should be going in. And so we had this idea that why don’t I just have a conversation with somebody I really like and see how it turns out.” President Obama in conversation with Marilynne Robinson, in Iowa.
- “If you’re a writer, you must be able to summon empathy for all your characters, even and especially the despicable ones.” Hanya Yanagihara speaks with Electric Literature about her novel, A Little Life.
- The Book of Unknown Americans made me straight up bawl. Cristina Henríquez spoke with Bustle about her novel, the characters, endings, and more.
- Man Booker Prize Winner (for A Brief History of Seven Killings) Marlon James discusses Bob Marley, false starts, narrative risk, and writing explicitly in literature.