theparisreview:

“Rome says: enjoy me. London: survive me. New York: gimme all you got.”

Read Zadie Smith’s story from our Spring issue, now available in its entirety online.

nprbooks:

Image: urbanworkbench/Flickr

Today’s top book news item:

Children’s and Young Adult books have long been thought to be a sphere especially friendly to women, in contrast with the staggering gender bias found in the world of grown-up literature. It turns out that, nope, women don’t dominate children’s publishing. New figures released by the literary organization VIDA show that there is approximate gender parity among the winners of children’s book awards — which would be great if there were equal numbers of men and women writing kids’ books.

"For a relatively small percentage of our authors, men are very well represented among our award winners and list-mentions," VIDA’s Kekla Magoon writes in a blog post. She adds, "[I]t’s true that being female is not nearly the barrier to initial publication for us that it often is in the adult literary landscape, but as this year’s pie charts demonstrate, being male still seems to carry some particular advantages when it comes to recognition, prestige, and awards for literary merit."

please read this 

“Novels remind us that the hard questions matter, they always have, and that we can’t ignore them just because we’re comfortable, well-fed, sheltered, and secure. Maybe those same comforts, which give us time and leisure enough to read novels in the first place, are the very reason why we need them so badly. A great novel is always felt as a kind of gift, and here’s the strange thing: these gifts are heartbreaks we wouldn’t suffer, tears we wouldn’t shed, agonies we wouldn’t undergo, if we simply left the books alone and did something else with our time.”