READ: “Whatever I was writing at the time, I knew there was no market for it and never would be, because there’s never a market for true art, so my main concern was always to have a job that didn’t require me to write or think.” Nell Zink | “Mindlessly self-deleting, it turns out, is addictive.” | The results of my Penelope Fitzgerald under-£3-each eBay spree are clomping through the mailbox every day. The victory of Penelope Fitzgerald by Alan Hollinghurst. | “It took me some time, when I was a very young man, to grasp that a writer—even a mature, experienced one— could have made an emotional transference to me.” | “Trying to remember books that I read.” | Excited for Meaghan O’Connell’s mothering column in The Cut.
LOOK: Chef Skye Gyngell’s kitchen. | The inside baseball of podcasting. (Now I have a special Gmail folder than TinyLetters go straight into I am more able to take chances on newsletters like this.) | The Legacy: a new Danish family drama (a dead body, but no murder). | “Waifs and solitary dreamers, pranksters and mischief-makers, and girls of deep goodness and compassion solve mysteries and travel in time.” | Australian legends Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales have a homesick-making podcast about books, politics and food (and occasionally showtunes, which I must say I detest): Chat 10 Looks 3.
THINK: “The conditional quality of novel speech, applicable only to particular characters, enables the novel to be acute without being reductive. In novels, it is left to readers to see—or not to see—the universal in the specific.” An answer to the novel’s detractors. | “… I had a baby of my own and loved him so entirely I couldn’t honestly remember what I thought my purpose had been on this earth before he came along.” Cheryl Strayed. | The best gifts for a baby’s first year. | “We all agreed that being a blogger isn’t a big enough dream for us.”
READ: “… within the space of what employees call The Property, the apathy of a hideously unfair world is suspended.” | The rules and hazards of presenting flowers in ballet. | The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, living the dream of being a brain on a stick. | “[M]y women were interested in other things… their own lives and calling and politics and what they could give to life.” Margaret Drabble interviewed in the Believer. | “I wish you’d been raised by the new me,” she said more than once. | Envy: “I was falling for another writer, and I recognised my descent by its peculiar calling card: the fear of what I wanted.” | “There are mistakes of form and mistakes of content to be made in building a body of work. And for most of my life, I was unwilling to make a single one of them.”
LOOK: Hillary Del Ray. | London through the eyes of a New Yorker: cierva on Instagram. | missingfillmore on Instagram. | Lydia Davis: “This was not one of my own mother’s favorites.” | Nutrition Unplugged: what we’ll be seeing on Instagram in six months’ time. | Coconut red lentil soup. | Perfect lunch. | Bookmarking: Jarvis Cocker’s TV series about outsider art is in on YouTube. | C/O Journal. | I have never found Dan Stevens attractive before this episode of High Maintenance. (Don’t bother watching any of this series if you’re not ready; the great thing about any artistic product is that you can get to it in your own time and when you are receptive! Not just because everyone’s saying it’s a “must watch.”) | Of course I’ll sign up to Sheila Heti’s Pigeon.
THINK: Social media is not self-expression. | Black lives matter.
READ: Where do I write? All over the damn place: Elisa Albert | “…a watershed moment in my life, in labor and in such pain that I couldn’t care anymore what other people thought of me.” Meaghan O’Connell’s birth story. | When I was young nothing made me happier than seeing the word “trilogy.” As my local St Vincent’s charity shop worker carefully handwrites on each collected volume he sells, “3 books for the price of ONE.” This week I have found something even better, the holy grail: a NEW DETECTIVE SERIES. It’s Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailer series and there are seven of them already in print! It’s like PD James only only he’s an artist-policeman instead of Dalgliesh’s poet-policeman. I am only half way through the first one but it is perfect.
LOOK: 20 best slow food recipes: part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4. Cauliflower cake. | Brunchfastclub. | In London: Japanese vegetable box. | Violet Cakes on the Selby. | Composed: UK only for now: lets you stream classical music by composer or mood! | Watching The (Danish) Killing III on DVD box set like it’s 2006.
THINK: “I associate happiness with having a plan.” | What type of person gets to say they’re working on their novel without being laughed at?
READ: “It’s easy to deliver a hot take when someone puts themselves out there like that, a vulnerable chicken carcass that falls apart at the joints. Your argument is strong; you are right, the behavior was unflattering, maybe disgusting. It’s harder to say, “Hello, I am the disgusting person.” | Anna Holmes: “daring to honor my interior life…” | Uniforms: “If you too are a person for whom the idea of expressing yourself through clothes feels embarrassing or even just inefficient…” | The 34 houses on London’s Fournier Street. “French, Irish, Jewish, West Indian, Bangladeshi, gay, Protestant, Muslim, rich, poor, threadbare, glorious; home to atheists, artists, hedge fund managers, bookmakers, pharmacists, silk weavers, taxi companies and movie stars.” | 33 Artists in 3 Acts.
LOOK: The art of the Rose Bakery breakfast. | Aftertastes. | Wholy Goodness. | Vita’s Purple Border Collection. | New Mid Week Distractions on Miss Moss. | timkeypoet on Instagram. | Street style at Frieze London. | I put Grayson Perry’s Who Are You? on as background while Jude was cooking and I was giving Sunday her dinner. Suddenly we both said “this is amazing.” | RIP best pod Girls in Hoodies.
THINK: “The challenge of the feminist novel is that a novel has to tell a compelling story. The feminist ambition cannot override the narrative ambition, or one has not written a novel.” | The shame of poor teeth in a rich world.