We’re a little late, but on May 16th Tin House released a new edition of Whitman‘s “Song of Myself” illustrated by Allen Crawford, complete with a lovely book trailer.
Leslie Jamison’s new essay collection is getting lots of plaudits, not least here at The Millions, where Ryan Teitman argued that Jamison manages to “meet her subjects in utter intimacy.” At the Tin House blog, Stephen Sparks interviews Jamison, who talks about the book, her “shame-seeking superpower” and her epigraph-cum-tattoo.
Earlier in the week a neighbor on their floor had been shoving his garbage down the chute, his head hidden by the open door to the tiny chute room. He must have heard her walking down the hall, and he silently reached out his hand to take her garbage without showing his face. She was grateful he didn’t look at her, since she’d just smeared Carmex across her lips and had her hair up in a clip. She was wearing, right out of the box, a newly arrived sweater she had admired on her sister, who had then sweetly bought the same one for her online. It looked awful on her—since her coloring was completely different from her sister’s—and she wondered why the color was called “silver lake,” since it was more of a faded green suburban-house-paint shade. It was too big on her but that was fine, since she still had some baby fat. She wondered why she was having all these moments involving garbage with men other than Sam. What did it mean?
Only be friends with people you actually like.
Following the news that Beyoncé sampled a TED talk by Year in Reading contributor Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Tin House dug up an interview with the author, who says that to this day, when she looks at the manuscript of Americanah, she feels “thrilled and amazed that [she] actually finished writing this.”
before I likened waking up to a car crash, equated walking to a free fall, working in the yard to grave digging, cooking food for the family to slathering glue on the walls, dotting the glue with beads, with jewels, when I likened weeping to camouflage, opening mail to defusing a bomb, when my wife began to say, “Only if you really want to,” before I developed the habit of pretending I wasn’t looking at her, when the eye was an apology hole, when the face was a piece of wood under the couch, when the couch kept the body from crashing through the floor and beyond
“I am an invisible man. No I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe: Nor am I one of your Hollywood movie ectoplasms.I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, simply because people refuse to see me.”
― Ralph Ellison
Happy Birthday Ralph Ellison!