Michael Bourne: The Tragedy of Truman Capote

Bourne considers the failed genius of Capote @ The Millions. In all of American letters there is no tale sadder than the biography of Truman Capote. A true prodigy, Capote was publishing stories in national magazines by his early twenties, and published his first novel at age 24. After dabbling in writing for the theater… Read more »

Hilary Mantel: Royal Bodies

Mantel considers the cruelties of our curiosities @ London Review of Books. Last summer at the festival in Hay-on-Wye, I was asked to name a famous person and choose a book to give them. I hate the leaden repetitiveness of these little quizzes: who would be the guests at your ideal dinner party, what book… Read more »

Robert Boucheron: Elizabeth Bishop at Harvard

Boucheron recounts learning poetry from Bishop @ Talking Writing. In the spring of 1973, I took Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry composition seminar at Harvard University.Admission was by writing sample, and enrollment was limited to ten. Most of the others were graduate students, while I was a college junior. I had written poems and stories since high… Read more »

Christopher Bram Dreams of Gore Vidal

Bram considers the influence of Vidal on his own writing @ The Millions. Gore Vidal was the first living writer to get under my skin — for good and ill, but mostly for good. With his death last week, I am still puzzling out how I fell under his spell and what it might mean…. Read more »

Will Self on Kafka’s Wound

Self contemplates translating Kafka and the power of associative thinking in a new digital essay project @ The London Review of Books. I am guilty of an association of ideas; or rather: I am guilty – that’s a given, and in casting about for the source of my guilt I find I cannot prevent myself… Read more »