The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

September 29, 2017
by Dan
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It Is a Truth Universally Acknowledged…

Tom’s new book, Baking with Kafka, is now available in the UK from Canongate Books, and in the US and Canada from D+Q next month.

September 7, 2017
by Dan
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Coralie Bickford-Smith’s Working Day

At The Guardian, writer, illustrator and Penguin Books designer Coralie Bickford-Smith talks about her working day: When I am at Penguin I design covers for classic literature. When I am at home I write, illustrate and design my own books. … Continue reading

June 13, 2017
by Dan
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The Appointment

Tom Gauld takes a look at editing process for The Guardian.  Tom’s recent comic ‘Editor’s Letter’ for the New York Times Magazine‘s ‘New York Stories‘ comic strip issue is also great:  Tom illustrated a story by Andy Newman called View Finder, … Continue reading

May 16, 2017
by Dan
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Poets with Cellphones

Stephen Collins for The Guardian. 

May 4, 2017
by Dan
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The Rise of the Global Novel

At the New Republic, Siddhartha Deb, author of The Beautiful and the Damned, reviews The Global Novel: Writing the World in the 21st Century by Adam Kirsch: Foreign writers might still be considered strange or different, and they might not be covered … Continue reading

May 3, 2017
by Dan
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Put Your Faith in Comics

At The New Yorker, Jia Tolentino profiles G. Willow Wilson, the writer behind Ms. Marvel, a superhero who is (in her current incarnation) a teenage Muslim from Jersey City: The première of “Ms. Marvel” sold more copies digitally than it did in print—a company first. Marvel doesn’t … Continue reading

April 27, 2017
by Dan
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The Prophet of Dystopia

I am terribly late to this, but Rachel Mead, author of My Life in Middlemarch, profiled Margaret Atwood for The New Yorker earlier this month. Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale has just been released as a TV series starring Elizabeth Moss: … Continue reading

April 13, 2017
by Dan
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Dystopia

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.

April 4, 2017
by Dan
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The Last London

The London Review of Books has a brilliant, sprawling, melancholy essay by author and psychogeographer Iain Sinclair titled ‘The Last London’. It’s difficult to know what to quote from the essay as it touches on so many interesting, diverse things, but this … Continue reading

March 20, 2017
by Dan
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Will You Help Us Destroy the Evil Galactic Empire?

Tom Gauld for The Guardian. (I’m working on my sardonically witty literary novel as we speak.)

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…)

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