Lithub talks to National Book Award finalists in translated literature Jhumpa Lahiri, Domenico Starnone, Olga Tokarczuk, and Jennifer Croft. Lahiri says that she doesn’t suffer from writer’s block. “At times I’m ‘blocked’ by the obligations and complications in life that keep me from writing or translating. But without those complications, many of them quite joyful, there would be little to write about.” Croft, on the other hand, says that translation helps her get over writer’s block. “It’s a wonderful way to continue to write and learn new strategies, things, styles while allowing ideas for future original writing to take shape in the back of my mind.”
Merve Emre reports on the making of My Brilliant Friend, HBO’s small-screen adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novels. Emre writes that Ferrante was very involved in the production and writing of the series despite only communicating with director Saverio Costanzo through email. “I’m still trying to put everything together,” he said of the experience. “It was like working with a ghost.”
At The Baffler, Ed Burmila looks at the ways “Facebook is melting the minds of our elders.”
For their first project with Netflix, Barack and Michelle Obama have bought the rights to Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk, a recent book on the Trump administration that combines “research and interviews to paint an alarming portrait of an administration whose unpreparedness and incompetence have put the government’s stability and functionality in grave danger.”
“You wouldn’t trust a music critic who’s buddies with the band, nor should you trust a tech reporter who hoots and hollers whenever Tim Cook takes the stage. And you definitely, absolutely should be suspicious of a political reporter who sits down with President Donald Trump and looks as if he’s meeting his favorite baseball player,” writes The Intercept’s Sam Biddle on Axios’s recent interview with Trump.