Imre Kertész, the Nobel-winning novelist and survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, has died. His 2013 Paris Review interview might be as fitting an obituary as any: “I am somebody who survived all of it, somebody who saw the Gorgon’s head and still retained enough strength to finish a work that reaches out to people in a language that is humane.”
Padma Lakshmi, whose new memoir partly concerns her marriage to Salman Rushdie, claims not to have read Rushdie’s own memoir, Joseph Anton—and so much the better for her. M. H. Miller, who valiantly read both books together, quotes Lakshmi as noting that: “At the end of a marriage, no one wins.” Although there are those very occasional and delightful times when one does feel ready to declare a winner.
Spouses may be among the most terrifying critics, but there are so many others for a writer to consider—perhaps more now than ever. As part of an intriguing interview series called “Thick Skin,” the novelist Porochista Khakpour has some thoughtful responses to criticism she’s received both in the papers and online.
“I am so tired of looking at men’s abs,” the CEO of Entangled Publishing tells the New York Times. “I don’t know if these ones are sexier than those other ones.” A portrait of the men who model for the covers of romance novels, which famously make up one of the few parts of the publishing industry still in rude health.
It’s good to know that oratory is alive and well in this presidential campaign.