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Tag Archives: New York

On “Self-Portrait with Boy”: An Interview with Rachel Lyon

“I think in part because this is my first novel, I struggled a bit with the problem of suspension of disbelief. I had this feeling that I needed somehow to justify the piece. It is an improbable story—as many novels are!—and I think I was afraid readers wouldn’t ‘believe’ it. So I think I compensated for that by playing around with various metafictional elements.”

The Only Question Left To Be Settled Now

In 1872, Susan B. Anthony cast a ballot in the presidential election in which Ulysses S. Grant would win his second term in office. Nearly half a century before women would actually get the right to vote in this country, this was of course an illegal act, and one for which Anthony was ultimately arrested and tried.

“Marilyn and the Literati,” by Jeffrey Meyers

Marilyn was a kind of touchstone for writers. Unsure of her own identity, she identified with others. She was warmly responsive to those who showed an interest in her, and the best authors appreciated her human qualities. The Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov was as handsome and sophisticated as Nikita Khrushchev was coarse and crude. He met Marilyn at a Hollywood party while he was working on the screenplay of Lolita in the spring of 1960, and examined her as if she were one of his exquisite butterflies. Stacy Schiff wrote that “in Vladimir’s recollection, ‘She was gloriously pretty, all bosom and rose’—and holding the hand of [her current lover] Yves Montand. Monroe took a liking to Vladimir, inviting the [Nabokovs] to a dinner, which they did not attend.