In our afternoon reading: thoughts on Denis Johnson’s plays, notable books in translation, and more.
Morning Bites: Catherine Lacey’s Latest, Benjamin Myers on Napalm Death, Interviewing Layli Long Soldier, and More
In our morning reading: an excerpt from Catherine Lacey’s new novel, Benjamin Myers on metal and history, and more.
It’s been three decades since a slim volume of 11 interconnected stories, cobbled together for a few thousand dollars to keep the IRS at bay, changed the landscape of American literature. Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son is one of those books you read in a single sitting, again and again. It’s a repeat offender, in the best sense of the term. A professor at Brooklyn College handed me my first copy in the late 1990’s—he said only this: “Read this. I’ll say no more.” I read it often, and I’ve been handing it to students, friends, and family members ever since. As we reach its pearl anniversary, I can’t help but connect this book with Matthew 7:6 and not “casting your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn again and rend you.” Such is the wisdom of this small, epiphanic book about a drifter, druggie, drunk, and ne’er do well as he slowly finds himself working out of drug addiction and acedia and toward a hard-earned, sober redemption and reengagement with the world.
Morning Bites: Denis Johnson on Film, Revisiting “Achewood,” Martha Anne Toll’s Recommendations, and More
In our morning reading: Denis Johnson on film, thoughts on George Saunders’s new collection, and more.
Afternoon Bites: Kali Fajardo-Anstine on Writing, Denis Johnson on Film, Interviewing Vanessa Hua, and More
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Kali Fajardo-Anstine and Vanessa Hua, Denis Johnson on film, and more.
Morning Bites: Sad13, Revisiting Denis Johnson, Ivan Vladislavić, Sarah Davachi Interviewed, and More
In our morning reading: thoughts on Sad13’s new album, Rax King on writing, and more.
The fiction we admired most in 2018 ran the proverbial gamut from thought-provoking surrealism to evocative realism. Some illuminated the present day or recent past, while others ventured into much more uncharted territory. Some took us to unimaginable psyches; others showcased how ordinary people dealt with the extraordinary. Here’s a look at ten of our favorite works of fiction this year.
Morning Bites: Paul Tremblay’s Latest, Denis Johnson, Edmund White’s Influence, Aruna D’Souza, and More
In our morning reading: reviews of new books by Paul Tremblay and Aruna D’Souza, a look at Edmund White’s literary influence, and more.