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

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

September 26, 2016
by Dan
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Drafts of the Novel

Tom Gauld for The New Yorker. Tom’s new graphic novel Mooncop is out now.

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

May 4, 2016
by Dan
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Author Health Hazards

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.

October 13, 2015
by Dan
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Recognition

Adrian Tomine’s latest cover for The New Yorker. Adrian’s new book, Killing and Dying, is out now.

September 3, 2015
by Dan
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The Life of a Memoirist

Tom Gauld.

June 5, 2015
by Dan
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All Characters Wait Here

Mr. Tom Gauld

June 24, 2014
by Dan
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Authors’ Cocktails

I didn’t see this weekend’s Guardian, but I assume Tom‘s cartoon is in reference to Olivia Laing’s article about 20th century female writers who drank, a follow-up to her excellent book The Trip to Echo Spring, which examines the link between creativity and … Continue reading

March 14, 2014
by Dan
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Tove Jansson: Love, War and the Moomins

At BBC News, Mark Bosworth looks at the life of artist and writer Tove Jansson: Tove Jansson grew up in an artistic household in Helsinki. Her father, a Swedish-speaking Finn, was a sculptor, her Swedish mother an illustrator. While her mother … Continue reading

March 6, 2014
by Dan
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Tove Jansson: The Hand That Made the Moomins

At The New Yorker, James Guida reviews Tove Jansson: Life, Art, Words: The Authorized Biography by Boel Westin, and Jansson’s memoir of childhood Sculptor’s Daughter (both published by Sort of Books): Writing the Moomins afforded an escape at war’s end. After a quiet start, the … Continue reading

August 22, 2012
by Dan
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Q & A with P. D. Smith

City A Guidebook for the Urban Age is the fascinating new book by British writer and reviewer by Peter D. Smith. Published by Bloomsbury, it is a wonderfully meandering collection of essays on cultural history of the world’s cities and an exploration of … Continue reading

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