Between work and book edits and back-to-school business, I haven’t started anything new this week. But I just received a galley of This Will Be My Undoing by our own Morgan Jerkins, which I am very eager to begin!
—Nicole Chung, Managing Editor, Web
I’ve been reading Popular Music by Kelly Schirmann, out with Black Ocean last year. It’s a brilliantly sun-dappled lyric poetry that makes me feel like some kind of Peter Thiel-ish vampire, feasting on the young blood that courses through its pages. It reminds me of Ben Mirov in the best kind of way. It also feels like it echoes a lot of the work we do here at Catapult.
I’ve just started Sam Beckett’s Watt . That’s right, I call him Sam. He doesn’t call me anything because he’s dead. I’ve read almost none of Beckett’s fiction, so it’s a really fun revelation to see what the oddities and dialogue of his stage work look like when given more space—that some end in a fish gasp silence, yes, but some things spiral in and through into other story and setting. I think of his most memorable stage characters as having awoken under a stuttering dim sun in the middle of a void, but that’s not the case in this novel and it’s amazing. Feels a bit Walser.
I’ve also read a new one from the great folks at Song Cave, Songs for Schizoid Siblings by Lionel Ziprin. Ziprin was, apparently, an underground mystic and major fixture in some of the weirder corners of the mid-century East Village scene. It’s very cool that Song Cave has collected these small odd incantations of his. The book reads a lot like the most unsettling passages from Margaret Wise Brown.
—Dustin Kurtz, Social Media Editor
I highly recommend subscribing to Blink , the weekly TinyLetter from Mary Laura Philpott, bookseller, writer, illustrator, dog lover, Emmy winner, social media maven, and numerous other things. The focus of each issue is simple and self-explanatory—"a book, a link, a song, and a picture"—which makes for a quick and enjoyable read that will result in another book on your ever-expanding TBR list.
—Erin Kottke, Director of Publicity
I normally don’t like when people say they “inhaled” or “devoured” a novel—idk why—but I recently did just that with Lucy Ives’s new novel Impossible Views of the World . It’s rare to find both a page-turner and a thoughtful take on labor, art institutions, and personal agency in one text, but Ives not only pulls it off but makes it look effortless. I wish everything I picked up was as smart and funny and human as this novel.
Plus, I’ve never read a more heartbreaking indictment of the “statement necklace”:
Some of the females of the functionary class had on their “liberal” jewelry options this evening, wooden blocks on string or modernist brass triangles. They were feeling casual, optimistic. They had gone with a bright lip.
—Allie Wuest, Editorial Assistant, Web
I’m reading Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style and José Saramago’s The History of the Siege of Lisbon . Both encourage an exactness and a flexibility in the act of editing. #goals
—Wah-Ming Chang, Managing Editor