Your favorite authors rendered in food, a new Marvel comic by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and a few Gothic classics you may have missed. Plus: Hilton Als gets real about art and intimacy: “You have to learn to write about love in order to write. It’s the most fundamental thing, and if you don’t write about it then you are missing something that is so profound—how could you even carry on? It is a very profound thing to touch another human being.”
Susan Bernofsky described recently the “disheartening” numbers, when it comes to the percentage of female authors in translation. Across twenty-five presses evaluated by Women in Translation, only twenty-five percent of books in English translation were by women, and some of Bernofsky’s favorite presses (some of mine, too), like New Directions and Archipelago, were among the worst perpetrators, publishing sixteen percent and thirteen percent female authors, respectively.
For Didion, New York got old at twenty-eight, eight years after arriving. Not quite so young anymore, she discovered that ‘not all the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all.’ Back in her home state of California, she writes of how she had felt to be ‘on some indefinitely extended leave,’ never really ‘living a real life’ in New York. Maybe it’s simply that I don’t feel myself to be living a ‘real life’ anywhere, that I haven’t managed to live in one place for more than eight months let alone eight years. But I’m thirty-one, and ecstatic to be back in New York, despite the long time knowledge that my mistakes here always have counted.