My Struggle, Book 2: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Like critics at the New York Times, The Guardian, and the London Review of Books, I have picked up Books 1 and 2 of Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, and have been unable to put them down. In his six-volume, 3,600 page, autobiographical novel, the author presents the bleak, Scandinavian landscape that surrounds him with a Proustian eye for detail. Following the first volume on his troubled childhood and the death of his father, A Man in Love is Knausgaard's exploration of just that: meeting and marrying his wife, Linda, giving birth to their three children, and understanding the relationship between himself and those closest to him. With careful precision, Knausgaard elevates the banal, day-to-day activities of middle-age life in Stockholm; at the same time, he rationally navigates the all-consuming emotions of joy, lust, and love. My Struggle is a thorough and exhaustive text, but with a captivating beauty that spans its numerous pages and beyond.
Read an excerpt (and 'Struggle' with me) here.
Author Mario Bellatin and editor of Phoneme Media, David Shook, use alternative writing implements to sign limited edition copies of The Transparent Bird's Gaze.
The Royal Society of Literature recently convened a panel on women travel writers, and proved "that travel writing is not – and should not be – a male preserve." Travel writers Dervla Murphy, Sara Wheeler, and Joanna Kavenna discuss their expeditions to the various corners of the world—whether by flight, foot, or wheel. The conversation is intelligent, exciting, and illuminating, and harnesses the spirit of adventure that each of these travelers carries with her.
I first took notice of conguera and bandleader Pedro "Pedrito" Martinez when a reliable source insisted that the best live band in New York City was playing every Tuesday through Thursday at a cheerfully dingy Cuban restaurant in Midtown. That's not the kind of advice I need to hear twice, and I've been a devotee of Martinez and his band ever since. Born in Havana, a prodigy performing since age eleven with legends like Tata Guines, he came to New York in 2000. His citified version of the Cuban rumba has so much swagger that you can easily overlook the tiny reticulations in the music's interlocking rhythms. They are, at heart, a traditional party band that also make a kind of meticulous New World chamber music, which somehow still sounds bracingly new.