Sci-Fi Icon William Gibson Imagines a World in which Hillary Clinton Is President
And more news from around the literary web
Today in the literary world we saw a creative bookstore Instagram, a study proving British people love lying about what they’ve read, and (probably not related) Granta’s take on the best young American writers. Oh yeah, and a novel that imagines what a Hillary Clinton Presidency would have been like (alas). Also, Marcel Proust loved to complain about his neighbors’ loud sex…
Independent Bookstore in France Brings Books to Life Via Instagram
Librairie Mollat, in independent bookshop in Bordeaux, has started a clever Instagram campaign that brings book covers to life. The photos mash-up faces of customers and staff with cover images. Check them out here! And prepare to be lost to an hour-long daydream about whimsical book shopping in wine country. This is pretty much out of the Amélie playbook, right?
New Sci-Fi Novel Set in World Where Hillary Won
Agency, the new novel from sci-fi and speculative fiction heavyweight William Gibson, is due out in January 2018 and will reportedly imagine an alternate future in which Hillary Clinton won the 2016 US Presidential election. The story will jump between present-day San Francisco and a post-apocalyptic vision of London 200 years in the future. Gibson wrote most of the novel before learning the results of the election in November 2016, assuming, like many others, that it simply wasn’t possible for Donald Trump to become President. So, you know, even visionaries have their limits.
[The Guardian, Danuta Kean]
Proust’s Complaint About Neighbor’s Loud Sex Revealed
Among what is being described as “a treasure trove of letters and diaries revealing the secrets of some of France’s greatest literary figures” — soon to be auctioned off in Paris — there is a rather amusing note from Marcel Proust. Written to his landlord’s son, Proust complained about the volume of his neighbor’s sex: “Beyond the partition, the neighbors make love every two days with a frenzy of which I am jealous.” What would you pay to own such an item? Say, two hundred euros? What’s the exchange rate for madeleines these days? The collection also reportedly includes notes from Flaubert contemporary to the creation of Madame Bovary and a private diary belonging to Victor Hugo.
[The Guardian/Danuta Kean]
25% of Young Britons Lie About Reading Lord of the Rings
A new study by The Reading Agency, the British pro-literacy group, has confirmed a universally acknowledged fact: people lie about what they’ve read. Adults 18–24 were the worst offenders, with 64% confessing to stretching the truth about their reading habits. 25% of that group claimed to lie about reading J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, when they had actually just seen the films. Other frequently fibbed titles included Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, The Chronicles Of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, and The Hunger Games. Wait, are people impressed if you save you’ve read Dan Brown?
[The A.V. Club/Matt Gerardi]
Granta Best of Young American Novelists List Released
Granta has released its latest “Best of Young American Novelists” edition. Released every ten years, the list includes writers under forty whom the magazine considers to be at the forefront of American writing. This decade’s roster is headlined by Emma Cline, Yaa Gyasi, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Ben Lerner. You can check out the whole group here. Because you know what Americans really love? British people declaring which of us is best.
Why We Do Weird Things: An Interview With Ottessa Moshfegh, author of Eileen