Beloved author Joan Didion reviews Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead.
“We’re the quiet woman at the end of the third-floor hallway, whose trash is always tidy, who smiles brightly in the stairwell with a cheerful greeting, and who, from behind closed doors, never makes a sound. In our lives of quiet desperation … not a soul registers that we are furious.” Dear Diary: I’m sorry [...]
Oh, I can tell you about the American dream. The son of Armenian immigrants, I spent the early 1970s living in a friend’s walk-in closet on Venice Beach, working as a valet because I’d been fired from my secretary position at William Morris. And then I started selling posters beachside, except I already had an [...]
Dear Diary, It is really hard to type on an iPad with an IV in your wrist. I tried writing in my official journal with the Tibaldi fountain pen Baron Carrickfergus gave me at a Lifeboat Naming ceremony in October, but the ink scent made me sick. I’ve been here at the hospital six days now, [...]
NaNoWriMo—Month of creative commitment-slash-torture! Month of antisocial weekends in stale-smelling, coffee stained pyjamas! Month of self-abnegation and self-praise! MONTH OF GENIUS!—is almost over. Here are some songs to get your blood/ink flowing, and your manuscript across the finish line. With love, Electric Literature + friends Marie-Helene Bertino, author of Safe as Houses: Neil Young, “Old [...]
Money, violence, sex, family―what else is there? Fashion, maybe. But fashion’s sex. I read an uncorrected proof of A.M. Homes’s May We Be Forgiven this summer while vacationing with my family in the South of France. Avignon is a peculiar place to digest a suburban gothic tale set in Westchester, but as a simulacra of [...]