There’s the fact that you’re interviewing me about this 20 years later or something. My favorite thing is that, to this day, everywhere I go to pitch a movie or a TV show or a book, there’s always someone 24 to the 30 there. These are the people who are starting to run all the things in the world. As soon as they hear I created Clarissa, they go crazy and revert to being 14-year-olds. Even some of the guys — “You created Clarissa?! — and it’s so much fun for me because I have this instant connection to people, and whatever years have passed vanish in a second, and that’s pretty cool for me.
Especially for those were who were girls at the time, there was finally a show for them. Looking back, you know what Clarissa’s values were and, to me, they were a lot better than what came after — Lizzie McGuire and Miley Cyrus.
Clarissa was smart. She wasn’t trying to be a “star.” Being a star for Clarissa would have been a step down. Her character wasn’t aspiring to be famous in a rock and roll star kind of way. She admired smart people. She admired Madonna, but she admired a scientist, for that matter. She was way more cool than the characters from these other shows.”—Clarissa Explains It All's creator Mitchell Kriegman, replying to a question asked in this Splitsider interview of how he interacts with young people today “who grew up on the show.”
NEW! Edugyan on music, race, love and loyalty; D’Agata on truth, veracity, and storytelling; Manguso’s elegy for a friend; Ullman with a psychological thriller; Hebert on defining oneself against the backdrop of revolution; a release date for Shadid’s final memoir; and, for all you baseball fans, the 2012 Baseball Prospectus!
“Five years after the debut of his first novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” Junot Díaz, below, is coming out with a new book in September, his publisher is expected to announce on Monday. “This Is How You Lose Her,” a collection of short stories, will be released by Riverhead Books, part of Penguin Group USA. In a statement the publisher called the stories “by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender.”—Junot Diaz is publishing a new book of short stories. (via libraryjournal)
“At the age of twenty [Charlotte Brontë] wrote to the Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, sending him some of her poems and professing not merely a desire to write but “to be for ever known.” Southey wrote back, praising her poems and offering his much quoted advice: “Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life: & it ought not to be.” Charlotte replied submissively and, in her fashion, heeded his words. Three years later, when she sent some fiction to Hartley Coleridge, (son of the more famous Samuel) she did so under the name of one of her Angria characters: Charles Townsend.”—The Beginning of the Brontës by Margot Livesey
Though we didn’t receive many bedroom #writespace tweets or tumbls, there was a strong showing in the armchair and floor area departments. I am pleased to report that we without desks are a numerous tribe. Here are our favorite deskless #writespaces:
While we don’t know who you are, Ring Tale, we know that you write in bed and like Nina Simone. Were you listening to “Feelin’ Good" to compose that list? We can only hope.
Good call on the library and the armrests, Jesper Tengquist. Bonus points for the plant life.
And of course, what’s not to love about Alex Shephard’s bare bones under-the-table #writespace? No knick-knackery, no papers spilling over. Just a few crumbs, a smile, and a writing instrument. It’s a sort of platonic ideal of desklessness. I wonder if this is technically Full Stop mag’s headquarters? I also wonder where that white piece of debris next to Alex came from, and whether or not it is a potato chip, but perhaps the answers to questions such as these are not ours to know.
Sometimes a little clutter goes a long way, but a lot of clutter goes even farther. Writing can be a messy business. While there were a few overcrowded desks sent in when we asked you to show us your #writespace, our own Garth Risk Hallbergcertainly had the grimiest computer.
That said, here are our favorite cluttered desks:
The editors over at Classic Penguin would like you to know that that ethereal green light is not in fact a fairy, but a banker’s lamp. Though they do work a little magic in this #writespace, turning those endless piles of paper into books.
Alexander Chee says that this is the most organized his desk has been in at least a year. While those stacks and stacks of papers and books certainly look organized to me, I’d still put this desk in the pro-clutter camp. Can you imagine what it must have looked like while he was writing Edinburgh? I’m thinking it must’ve looked like this only more so.
Grant Clauser uses two computers. But he has good reason to, by his own admission: “I have a short attention span.” Extra points should be awarded for the potted plant and a window sill overtaken by knick-knackery.
“The Millions is one of my favorite literary blogs, I read it almost every day, and I like Emily’s writing, so I felt like commenting would be a safe/sane thing to do.”—Leigh Steinmakes an appearance (and says a few nice things about us) in the comments on Emily St. John Mandel’s review of The Fallback Plan.
“Our gallbladder is the bile’s favourite place to hide,
Its green and yellow colour gives it a lot of pride,
Through the cystic duct it goes,
Past the ampula it flows,
Causing big droplets of fat to break up and divide.”—From the as yet unpublished Anatomical Limericks, by Professor Jacqueline Carnegie and her students. Read more about how Carnegie uses poetry to teach science in The National Post.
This one from Brian Jonesis probably my favorite, and not just because this must be where he wrote this essay on Gone with the Windfor The Millions. It’s because of the industrious focus of that young man typing away. Who doesn’t admire that kind of dedication to the craft?