This is my first piece for The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, a lovably irascible survey of contemporary book covers and a rumination on the aesthetic/commercial double-binds of designing your own.
Cover illustrations at left and center by Richard Powers; cover at right, unidentified.
illustration by Christelle Enault
I have a new essay, “I Know What You Think of Me,” in the New York Times on the hazards of hitting REPLY ALL and the dread of hearing other people’s uncensored opinions of you.
A touching testimonial to my work from reader Nathalie de la Gorce. If my book has helped to pass a single heartbroken afternoon it was not written in vain. We wish Nathalie a speedy and relatively painless recovery.
I am interviewed on the perennially urgent issue of Busyness on the Colin McEnroe Show, on Connecticut Public Radio.
My conversation with Jennifer Boylan at The Strand on May 28th has been posted on the store’s Youtube channel.
John Moore/ Getty Images
I have an essay on the allure of war in the June issue of The Men’s Journal, on newsstands now. It is also available online.
As part of my ongoing quest for ways to make money as a writer in the 21st century, I am undertaking an experiment: offering a new essay as a 99¢ downloadable pdf file. The essay, “Up in the Air,” is a short one (around 1500 words, the length of one of my New York Times op-eds) but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. It’s about what Kim Stanley Robinson calls “the time without skin”–those in-between times in our lives (between careers, homes, or relationships) when we’re deprived of the anesthetizing comfort of our daily habits or any certainty about the future, and have to confront all the dreadful Big-Picture questions we hoped we’d put behind us for good. It even includes an old, previously-unpublished-online cartoon as illustration.
My first essay for the New York Times‘s “Draft” blog, “The Power of ‘I Don’t Know,‘” on the dangers of certainty, runs today.
illustration by Jim Stoten
I have a new essay in Modern Farmer magazine, about the farm where I grew up.
I am the least illustrious interviewee featured in my friend Jennifer Finney Boylan’s new book, Stuck In the Middle With You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders. (Other interviewees include Edward Albee and Richard Russo.) Although I have zero interest in “parenting” I was up late last night reading this book. The title is somewhat misleading; it is, like my own book, about the somewhat mixed experience of being alive, and it is, like all of Jenny’s work, smart and funny and moving. It even made me faintly envious, in a safely abstract way, of her domestic family life.