Maryse Meijer’s The Seventh Mansion is the type of book that shouldn’t work, but somehow does. In fact, I’d call it one of the most bizarre, brilliant books I’ve read this year, and that’s saying a lot. This strange tale smashes together the holy and the earthly, the dirty and the sublime, the supernatural and the all-too real, all while exploring what it means to be human in a world that moves farther away from itself, from its roots, every day.
In our morning reading: talking fiction with Maryse Meijer, thoughts on Susanna Clarke’s new novel, and more.
Two years ago, the Midwestern book tour I was on with duncan b. barlow concluded on a rainy Chicago night with a reading at Volumes Bookcafe headlined by Maryse Meijer. Hearing Meijer read from her debut collection, Heartbreaker, left me floored; since then, I’ve eagerly read her subsequent books, the novella Northwood and the new collection Rag. Meijer’s fiction is haunting in a host of ways, some of them literal: she brings the reader to the border of the uncanny and primal, while also tapping into something deeply modern and urgent. I spoke with her following the release of her latest book about her short fiction, the role of horror in her work, and titles, among other topics.
In our morning reading: reviews of books by Sophia Shalmiyev, Richard Chiem, and Maryse Meijer; an interview with K Chess; and more.
In our afternoon reading: excerpts of books by Mira Jacob and David Nutt, an interview with Richard Chiem, and more.
In our morning reading: an interview with Yiyun Li, new writing from Victor LaValle, book recommendations from Maryse Meijer, and more.
In our morning reading: interviews with Maryse Meijer and Valeria Luiselli, poetry from William Lessard, and more.
2018 brought with it a lot of great poetry. Some revisited older forms or older stories to create something vital and new, while others took bold risks with language in order to illuminate aspects of the present sociopolitical condition. Whether they were causing us to rethink the quotidian or leading us to unexpected places, here are some of our favorite examples of verse that emerged this year.