Friday, April 19th, 2013
…editorially speaking. Nouvella has recently added a couple of super sharp editorial assistants to our masthead. Without further ado, Eve Gleichman and Melissa MacEwen. (And Emma and I did the questionnaire too, because we didn’t want to feel left out.)
Last thing I read that was so good, not only did it knock my socks off, it stole them forever: Tenth of December by George Saunders
Currently reading: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Favorite novella: Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
Favorite libation: Earl Grey
If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: From the desk of Derek Walcott: “I would have learnt to love black days like bright ones/The black rain, the white hills, when once/I loved only my happiness and you.”
Last thing I read that was so good, not only did it knock my socks off, it stole them forever: Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion. I read this in California during the summertime; I will never forget commuting an hour and a half on the train to my internship every day and daydreaming about the Santa Ana wind. My senior thesis will be partially inspired by this book, that’s how much I loved it.
Currently reading: McSweeney’s 42; Underworld by Don DeLillo. About to start The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis.
Favorite novella: I honestly haven’t read very many novellas; I’ve been meaning to read The Eye by Vladimir Nabokov for a while now.
Favorite libation: Red wine. Yes, I’m a snob.
If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe (my grandfather and I are both obsessed and we’ve both memorized extensive portions of it).
Last thing I read that was so good, not only did it knock my socks off, it stole them forever: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Every time I picked up my copy I was excited to dive back into the turbulent lives of my new friends. The novel unfolds more like life than a story with a beginning, middle, and end does. It follows five friends from their meeting as teens at an idyllic arts camp in the Berkshires as they grow from their ironic adolescent selves through all the stages of adulthood into their late fifties. Wolitzer masterfully guides her characters on their own individual paths as they discover what comes of early talent and how relationships evolve with age and circumstance. It’s one of those fat books that still isn’t fat enough; you want to keep continuing and continuing so these characters can enjoy longer lives than the ones Wolitzer has given them on the page.
Currently reading: Mrs. Woolf and the Servants by Alison Light. Nonfiction is rare for me, but what’s a Virginia Woolf die-hard to do when she reads this essay on The Millions?
Favorite novella: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. My favorite novella, though it takes as long to read as a novel because of the sentences as dense and rich as a Burdick’s hot chocolate.
Favorite libation: Now I’m tempted to say Burdick’s, but that’s no fun. I will never say no to a nice basil gimlet.
If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: I am known to get through the third stanza of Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” no matter the interest level of my gimleted comrades-in-arms.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Currently reading: All That Is by James Salter. It’s very Salter-y.
Favorite novella: We Don’t Live Here Anymore by Andre Dubus. I did my full profession of awe for Novella Month last year. Also: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx.
Favorite libation: A greyhound. I also love champagne, especially celebratory and/or free champagne, which is very different than cheap champagne.
If someone absolutely forced me to recite some poetry, I would recite: “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, though I don’t think I’d get much further than “I met a traveler from an antique land.” After that, I’d have to resort to some Shel Silverstein.