Juan Felipe Herrera, a Mexican-American who was raised by migrant farm workers, has been named the new United States Poet Laureate. Herrera’s work includes Border-Crosser With a Lamborghini Dream and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border, and the Library of Congress points out that his poetry, in the spirit of Walt Whitman, captures “our larger American identity.”
“You have to wing it. If you don’t then it seems like it’s written from an outline. And the idea is to start to set yourself some impossible kind of place to get to, and it becomes an adventure.” FSG has published Laura Miller’s talk with Jonathan Franzen at the 2015 Book Expo America. Franzen’s Purity, due out in September, was one of the BEA’s most talked about titles.
This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine will feature Giles Harvey’s profile of the author Jenny Diski, a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, who learned in July that she has inoperable lung cancer. “A death sentence, by all accounts, sets off in people a free-for-all of conflicting emotion, but by the time Diski, who is 67, returned home that afternoon, she had already resigned herself to one thing: She was going to write about it.”
Chris Lehmann, the author of Rich People Things and a Bookforum editor, ponders the race for the 2016 Republican nomination. “Of the dozen or so people who have declared or are thought likely to declare, every one can be described as a full-blown adult failure,” Lehmann writes of the Republicans who have their eyes on the presidency. “These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.”
Bestselling novelists Mhairi McFarlane and Jojo Moyes are asking that we stop using the term “chick lit” to describe popular fiction by women.