Posted on

For novelist-podcaster Marlon James, it’s Dead Writer Summer

…“Marlon & Jake Read Dead People,” the deeply literary, deeply fun podcast about books by writers of the past. In this second season, they’ll turn to books new to at least one of them, along with some quirkier choices — while sticking to their theme of speaking candidly of the dead. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

For Literary Novelists the Past Is Pressing

For the past two decades, the novels celebrated for defining our time have almost always been books set within our time, from Jonathan Franzen’s voluminous social comedies to Sally Rooney’s smartly self-knowing novels and the seam of contemporary autofiction that has run between them. Historical fiction, by contrast, has not been in fashion. Or, rather, it has been seen as its own fusty fashion, relentlessly uncontemporary and easy to caricature, filled with mothballed characters who wear costumes rather than clothes, use words like “Prithee!” while having modern-day thoughts, and occasionally encounter villains immediately recognizable by their yellow teeth or suspicious smell. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze

To the growing genre of drug-riddled fiction—Irvine Welsh, Denis Johnson, Joel Mowdy, Nico Walker—Krauze adds a flourish, a kind of harsh music, with his use of gang argot … A gritty read for its gore, drugs, and profanity, but possessed of a raw and honest eloquence. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Reading Books About… People Reading Books?

…the best biblio-memoirs are a wonderfully quirky mix of autobiography, travel writing, literary criticism, self-help and immersion journalism. The list that follows includes books which push the genre boundaries, which explore and explode the form. So often books stay in our head precisely because we do not know exactly what they are. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)