office-girlThe Bearable Lightness of Joe Meno | Literary Hub
always feel a satisfying melancholy after finishing a great book, a wave of loss comes over me, yet too does a sense of accomplishment, of having gained the wisdom of the story while losing the world that gave it to me. I was there once, and now I am not. That is a powerful emotion, disorienting, revelatory, grand and, yet, completely private, which means it’s a feeling I rarely if ever get to celebrate. Hell, there are novels I’ve read and loved and still never spoken or written about since I read them. There are simply too many books. It’s one of those quiet tragedies in life: to experience something profound in art without being able to share it, or even commemorate it. But Joe Meno gave me the opportunity to stop at the end of a book and note what was around me, to think about it and incorporate it into the act of reading. So I wrote that name, that date, that heart, for all the books that moved me, and all the friends who’ve loved me, and all the things we never got to say, and for all the wisdom and all the truth and all the beauty that would never be expressed if we didn’t occasionally stop to write them down, and encase them with our hearts.


932b7fa05Here Be Dragons: On Literary Cartography | LA Review of Books
An essay-review of Andrew DeGraff’s beautiful and witty book of literary maps Plotted: A Literary Atlas for LA Review of Books: “For Plutarch, fiction was what was off the map, a land beyond the reach of historians with their “credit” and “certainty,” where the only “inhabitants are the poets and inventors of fables.” But, as DeGraff and others have shown, we can’t help charting that space, too, however imperfectly. Here’s another way to put it: maps describe places where people have already been in order to show others how to get there. Fiction is made of maps to places no one has ever seen, and when we all arrive at our destinations, none of us end up in the same place.”

links_salmanrushdieWhy Salman Rushdie Should Win the Nobel Prize in Literature | Literary Hub
To recap: Rushdie is a politically engaged novelist whose books vividly evoke not only his homeland, India, but also London, New York and numerous places in the distant past; he is a knighted Brit, and a major award winner; his writing is full of astounding imagination yet never falls into derivative or (rarely) goofy territory; and when threatened with death with, specifically, assassination, he is a writer who kept writing, who spent more than a decade under police protection, under house arrest, basically unfree, instead of giving in and retracting a word of his book.

Nobel committee, what’s good?