I can’t pretend to be impartial. She’s terrific, and her show at the Serpentine this summer, if it’s anything like it’s predecessor at MoMA, should be a hit. In this interview, she talks about those crazy shows she did in the ’70s when she cut / burned / knocked herself out, and how these kinds of gigs don’t exactly make it easy for her to get (and keep) a date. Read the whole thing here>>
Samantha Geimer’s account of what happened to her in the summer of 1977 and the subsequent 35 year fall-out is fascinating for its nuance, its good humour, and for her capacity to move on, in the face of frequent and very public reminder. It was one of those interviews that genuinely surprised me, in a good way.
Here’s my interview in the Guardian with Margaret Atwood, on top scathing form on a variety of subjects. Particularly interesting: her dismissal of Lauren Sandler’s essay in the Atlantic, counselling women writers to have only one child. “Make your choice,” she says. “Stop whining about it and filling up copy in magazines with your guilt.”
It is almost five years since Pat Kavanagh, the literary agent, died of a brain tumour. In that time, Julian Barnes, her husband of 30 years, has published three books: a collection of short stories, a collection of essays on the influence of other writers and a novel, The Sense of an Ending, which won the Booker Prize in 2011.
His new book, Levels of Life, is another hybrid; part essay, part short story and part memoir, the latter of which will generate by far the most interest, as memoirs of the well known in turmoil will do. But it is a mistake to see the book as anything other than whole: an effort by Barnes, using everything he has, to look down on the landscape of loss.
Barnes is at his home in north London. “Grief,” he says, “seems at first to destroy not just all patterns, but also to destroy a belief that a pattern exists.” This changes with the altitude of years. So now here is the pattern and it is extraordinary.