The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

March 3, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

Books

Modern Toss (This is a little too close to the bone)

February 27, 2017
by Dan
0 comments

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

August 26, 2016
by Dan
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Will Evans: One-Man Publishing Show

The Rumpus interviews Will Evans the founder and publisher of Deep Vellum, an independent small press focused on works in translation based in Dallas, TX: I’m very new to this, and I’m most definitely an outsider. I don’t really know how … Continue reading

August 18, 2016
by Dan
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Thank You for Sending Us Your Manuscript

Edward Steed for The New Yorker.

July 25, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Innovations for the Modern Novelist

Tom Gauld for The Guardian. Who needs people?

July 25, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Jennifer Heuer on Gendered Covers and Being a Woman Designer

At The Literary Hub, the talented Jennifer Heuer on gendered book covers and being a woman designer: I love what I do and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of amazing art directors on a lot of great projects. I’m … Continue reading

July 1, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Elda Rotor: The Woman Who Runs Penguin Classics

CNN Philippines interviewsd Elda Rotor, vice president and publisher of Penguin Classics at the Penguin Random House in New York: The main joy is bringing an audience to a work that would otherwise lead a quiet life, not having the … Continue reading

June 2, 2016
by Dan
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A Window onto a Window

In this profile of Peter Mendelsund in the June issue of Rhapsody Magazine, there is a lovely bit about the designer’s architect-artist father: In the living room of Knopf associate art director Peter Mendelsund’s Upper Manhattan apartment, inspiration is everywhere: a battered, sea-green … 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

April 29, 2016
by Dan
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A Publishing House of Her Own

Joanna Scutts reviews The Lady with the Borzoi, Laura Claridge’s new biography of Blanche Knopf, for the New Republic: When the house of Knopf launched in 1915, publishing was a gentleman’s pursuit—amateur, clubbish, WASP, and above all, male. Blanche and … Continue reading

March 28, 2016
by Dan
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On the Media: Print is Back, Back Again

In a special report, WNYC’s On the Media recently took a look at the publishing industry and print books. It covers a lot of ground — including the subversive history of adult colouring books, Amazon’s bricks-and-mortar bookstore, and South Korea’s quest for a … Continue reading

February 27, 2016
by Dan
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From Thomas Mann to Amazon — The Art of Literary Publishing in New York

The Millions has a long, but very interesting (and, at times, surprisingly blunt) essay by veteran Doubleday editor Gerald Howard on editing and literary publishing in New York: At the simplest, most basic level, I’ve been reading for a living … Continue reading

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