August 25, 2015 | by The Paris Review
This November, we’re publishing our first anthology of new writing in more than fifty years. The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review features thirty-one stories, poems, and essays by a new generation of writer. It’s a master class, across genres, in what is best and most alive in American literature today.
Take a look at the cover and you’ll recognize names such as John Jeremiah Sullivan, Atticus Lish, Emma Cline, Ben Lerner, and others who have become emblematic of a renaissance in American writing. Although these are younger writers, already any history of the era would be incomplete without them. At a moment when it’s easy to see art as another product—and when writers, especially, are encouraged to think of themselves as professionals—the stories, poems, and essays in this collection have no truck with self-promotion. They turn inward. They’re not afraid to stare, to dissent, or even to offend. They answer only to themselves.
In the coming months, we’ll reveal more about the anthology, which Akhil Sharma calls “the best possible introduction to the best literary magazine we have.” Stay tuned!
July 24, 2015 | by The Paris Review
A memorial service for James Salter will be held at five P.M. on Tuesday, July 28, at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York. All members of the public are welcome to attend.
Salter, who died last month, was a longtime member of the Paris Review family. His first published short story, “Sundays,” appeared in The Paris Review no. 38, and he followed with four others (“Am Strande von Tanger,” “Via Negativa,” “The Cinema,” and “Bangkok”); his third novel, A Sport and a Pastime, was published by Paris Review Editions in 1967; his Art of Fiction interview appeared in the magazine in 1993; and he won the Hadada Prize, The Paris Review’s lifetime-achievement award, in 2011—where he announced to the admiring crowd, “This is my Stockholm.”
Jim will be missed by all of us at the Review and by his many Paris Review colleagues from years past. We hope you’ll join us—and his family and many friends—in celebrating his life at his memorial on Tuesday.
July 1, 2015 | by The Paris Review
As readers of the Daily know, we at The Paris Review are big fans of the London Review of Books. It’s not just our favorite British book review—it’s our favorite British magazine, period. It sets a standard for criticism and literary journalism, with essays that examine every aspect of politics and culture from an informed, personal point of view. We never miss an issue. And we’re proud to say they read us, too, for the best in cutting-edge fiction, poetry, and interviews.
That’s why, last summer, our two magazines teamed up to offer a joint subscription for one low price. Two months, one pelican, and a couple of beekeepers later, it was the most successful subscription offer in our history. So we’re doing it again.
For a limited time only, you can get a year of The Paris Review and the London Review of Books for just $70 U.S.
June 22, 2015 | by Dan Piepenbring
It’s mid-June. Summer is in full swing. All the young people in your life have graduated; they’re preparing to embark on new journeys, to begin new lives, and by now they’ve received lavish, thoughtful presents from everyone in the family. But not you. Every day, they’re checking the mail, anxiously awaiting your gift. Where is your gift?
Maybe you’ve been holding out for something perfect, something that isn’t cash, or booze, or an ill-fitting hand-me-down wool blazer the mere sight of which causes itching. The best gifts are practical and inspirational. That’s why we’ve put together The Paris Review Commencement Gift Box. It includes a one-year subscription, a limited-edition Paris Review tote, and a trusty no. 2 Paris Review pencil. It also features two of the most inspiring issues from our archive—156 and 158—in which Hunter S. Thompson, Lorrie Moore, Rick Moody, George Saunders, and Dave Eggers discuss graduation, writing, and life beyond the classroom.
The boxes are available for only seven more days, through June 30. They make a great present for aspiring writers, who should, in the words of William Kennedy, “read the entire canon of literature that precedes them, back to the Greeks, up to the current issue of The Paris Review.” You’ll find all the details here—order now.
June 15, 2015 | by Dan Piepenbring
We’re delighted to announce that Thomas David will be our third Writer-in-Residence—and our first biographer—at the Standard, East Village, in downtown Manhattan. He will be in residence for three weeks this July. We wish him a happy and productive stay. Read More »
June 3, 2015 | by Dan Piepenbring
Before we commence with the dog and pony show for our brand spanking new Summer issue, you should know that the three interviews from our Spring issue are now available in full online.
These include the first-ever in-person interview with Elena Ferrante, who discusses her Neopolitan Novels, her reticence as a public figure, and her approach to her readership:
I publish to be read. It’s the only thing that interests me about publication. So I employ all the strategies I know to capture the reader’s attention, stimulate curiosity, make the page as dense as possible and as easy as possible to turn. But once I have the reader’s attention I feel it is my right to pull it in whichever direction I choose. I don’t think the reader should be indulged as a consumer, because he isn’t one. Literature that indulges the tastes of the reader is a degraded literature. My goal is to disappoint the usual expectations and inspire new ones.
And Mona Simpson’s interview with Hilary Mantel, who talks about her Cromwell books, the difference between historians and novelists, and the difference between the early and contemporary stages of her career:
When I began writing I had a perfect belief that, although I might not know how to do many things, I did know how to write a novel. Other people might have disputed that, looking at my efforts, and no one was in a hurry to endorse my confidence, but I did know within myself that I could write a novel. The reason was I’d read so many that the pattern was internalized. I’ve always been an intensely ambitious individual and whatever I was going to do, I was not going to let go until I got where I thought I ought to be. It’s a question of, What will you sacrifice? What other things will you let go, to clear the space for your book? What develops later is something rather different, as you proceed from book to book, every book throwing up different demands, needing different techniques.
Plus, in the Art of Fiction No. 227, Lydia Davis explores her approach to the short story, and to translations, and reflects on the influence her family life had on her process:
We also left each other notes when there was a family conflict. I guess it was my mother’s idea that we should put it in writing, or that we should articulate it, because I can see our different handwriting going back and forth over this problem, whatever it was. I thought it was kind of a terrible thing that we did that in my family. Because it made writing ... oh, the text became full of emotion. I still have some of the notes that my mother left for me. In fact, we did a little dialogue … I suppose that was part of the family training—Let’s try to figure this out. Here’s how I feel, you tell me how you feel. It is a way to work out some emotional situations, and certainly that went on in our house. It’s just that when I come across those long messages from my mother it fills me with sadness.
For the latest in our Writers at Work series, subscribe to The Paris Review now—and be sure to check out what’s coming next in our Summer issue, which includes interviews on the Art of Translation with Peter Cole plus Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.