In our morning reading: a new story by Aaron Burch, a live album from The Feelies, and more.
Alex Andriesse and I met some time in the mid-aughts in New Paltz, New York. He was an undergraduate at SUNY New Paltz but living in Manhattan, and I’d just recently completed my M.A. there and was living in the Bronx. We both found ourselves up in New Paltz often—he was still taking classes, and I was visiting old teachers and friends, and I’d often give him a ride back to the city. On those drives, our friendship was cemented. We’d talk books, movies, and music. Auster. Jarmusch. Dylan. We had so many writers and filmmakers and musicians we loved in common. I think it was Alex who first urged me to listen to Sharon Van Etten. I probably talked his ear off about Jason Molina. In any case, that friendship continued across miles as I moved to Mississippi and Alex moved to Massachusetts. I’d meet Alex in Hudson, New York, when I was home to visit family—halfway between the Hudson Valley, where I was stationed at my mother-in-law’s house and Alex’s place in Massachusetts. We’d get coffee at Spotty Dog Books and Ale and walk around, talking. Alex and his partner came down to visit me and my family in Mississippi for a few days, and we had a lovely time. Soon after, they moved to the Netherlands, and I’ve been lucky enough to see them in France several times over the intervening years during book tours. Our long email exchanges remain like those initial conversations—full of talk of what we’re reading (most recently, I picked up Gwendoline Riley’s First Love and My Phantoms on Alex’s recommendation), listening to, and watching, as well as what’s going on in our lives. I’m thankful for Alex’s friendship in a million ways, not the least of all being that he encouraged and supported my writing when it felt like I was headed for a dead-end. Alex is an accomplished poet and essayist, and he has spent years working as an editor (first at Dalkey Archive and now at NYRB) and translator. His translation of Paul Lafargue’s The Right to Be Lazyand Other Writings is just out from NYRB and—as you’ll hear below—three other books he’s edited and/or translated have also been released this year.
In our morning reading: an interview with Brenda Peynado, thoughts on William Boyle’s new novel, and more.
What does this November hold for us, in terms of new books? For whatever reason, this month seems to abound with compelling fiction, from gripping tales of characters in flux to immersive explorations of inner lives. Some of the books we’re most excited about are the latest works from writers we admire; others fall into the category of highly-anticipated debuts. As the weather outside gets colder, here are some suggestions for your autumn reading.
Morning Bites: Elizabeth A. I. Powell, Willy Vlautin Interviewed, Jeff Noon, Marisa Silver’s Playlist, and More
In our morning reading: exploring the poetry of Elizabeth A. I. Powell, writing notes from Jeff Noon, and more.
Afternoon Bites: Izumi Suzuki, Willy Vlautin Interviewed, Charlie Jane Anders, Agustín Fernández Mallo’s Latest, and More
In our afternoon reading: fiction by Izumi Suzuki, an interview with Willy Vlautin, and more.
Afternoon Bites: Gina Frangello, Jeff VanderMeer Interviewed, Melissa Febos, William Boyle on Writing, and More
In our afternoon reading: an excerpt from Gina Frangello’s new book, an interview with Jeff VanderMeer, and more.
Afternoon Bites: Jeannine Ouellette Interviewed, Patricia Lockwood’s Latest, Barry Gifford Revisited, and More
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Jeannine Ouellette, William Boyle on Barry Giffords, and more.