The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

February 27, 2017
by Dan
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The Rise of Roxane Gay

At Brooklyn magazine, Molly McArdle profiles Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State, Bad Feminist and, most recently, Difficult Women:  “What more could I say that I haven’t already said?” Gay asks in an conversation about publishing and diversity we had via email last … Continue reading

November 25, 2016
by Dan
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Adaptation

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.  (Tom has touched on this subject before…)

October 26, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Darran Anderson on Imaginary Cities and Books as Maps

Author Darran Anderson discusses his book Imaginary Cities with Rhys Tranter: [M]y intention was to write something that isn’t self-contained; a book that somehow spills out of its pages and into the world… I wanted to send people out looking for … Continue reading

October 17, 2016
by Dan
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The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin

Julie Phillips long profile of author Ursula K. Le Guin for The New Yorker is wonderful: Starting in the nineteen-eighties, [Le Guin] published some of her most accomplished work—fiction that was realist, magic realist, postmodernist, and sui generis. She wrote the Borgesian feminist parable “She … Continue reading

August 22, 2016
by Dan
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Bookworm: Tom McCarthy on Satin Island

Author Tom McCarthy talks to Bookworm about his latest novel Satin Island: KCRW Bookworm: Tom McCarthy on Satin Island mp3 The rather splendid cover for the US paperback edition published earlier this year by Vintage (pictured above) was designed by John … Continue reading

July 25, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Innovations for the Modern Novelist

Tom Gauld for The Guardian. Who needs people?

May 31, 2016
by Dan
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Find Your Stories in the Dirt

I mentioned Andrew F. Sullivan’s piece on High-Rise last week, and I recently spoke to the author about his own novel WASTE, and about influence of David Lynch on his writing in a Q & A for Publishers Group Canada: Initially, … Continue reading

May 28, 2016
by Dan
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Title Fight

At The Paris Review blog, author Tony Tulathimutte (PRIVATE CITIZENS) considers how the titles of books get chosen: Every literary generation has its naming conventions, and it’s as hard to imagine the sixty-five-word original title for Robinson Crusoe passing muster … Continue reading

May 4, 2016
by Dan
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Author Health Hazards

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.

February 18, 2016
by Dan
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Robert Caro on New York

At The Gothamist, Christopher Robbins talks to writer Robert Caro about New York and The Power Broker, his classic Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of city planner Robert Moses: Moses had done something no one else had ever done. Everyone thought power comes from being … Continue reading

January 8, 2016
by Dan
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George Saunders: On Story

Storytelling, at least from my experience of it… I think it’s a stand-in for day to day life. So, when you come to a story with this attitude we’ve been talking about, which is kind of hopeful, generous, not to … Continue reading

October 30, 2015
by Dan
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George Saunders Writing Education

The New Yorker has a lovely essay by George Saunders, excerpted from a new book called A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors, on his education as a writer: For me, a light goes on: we are supposed to be—are required to … Continue reading

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