I’ve thought about writing her. But what would I say? I’m Jennifer Berman, too?
Quirky best friends never go on jogs. They just talk and talk and talk, quickly and in different voices, until an indulgent eye-roll from the protagonist sends them on their way. On the transcriber’s shitlist, they rank somewhere between one of Aaron Sorkin’s voluble policy wonks and a Cockney street urchin in a British police procedural.
"There are so many cool things going on in Spokane now that I have this overwhelming urge to attend a tractor pull.” Jess Walter has written an addendum to his essay “Statistical Abstract for My Home of Spokane, Washington.”
Through such experiments, Lee seems preoccupied by the need to make this familiar form something different from what we think it is, so that it can more capably capture a reality that has fast been veering into the unreal. It’s not just that the world outside the novel has made this jump, but also that we cannot evade the world’s strangeness when the storytellers, and the characters into which they breathe life, increasingly come from such different perspectives.
At The Nervous Breakdown, an excerpt of Still Writing, the new book by Year in Reading alum Dani Shapiro. The excerpt comes on the heels of one of the site’s trademark self-interviews, in which the author laments of herself as interviewer, “You don’t pull any punches, do you?” (Related: our own Hannah Gersen talked with Shapiro about her book.)
Dubus’s fiction taps into the preternatural worry that we can turn, in a moment, from a person we have prayed to become to something sharp and wrong.
"I tweeted: ‘Protagonist of #thegoldfinch is my exact age and grew up on the same block as me. What a likable guy!’ and got a favorite from a stranger who didn’t subsequently follow me.
But then things started to get weird. 27-year-old Theo is a 18th and 19th century British antique dealer; I’m a 18th and 19th century French antique dealer. He spends 90 percent of his time working front of house and 10 percent in the restoration shop downstairs — same as me.”
— My Not-So-Secret History by Adam Dalva