Haruki Murakami Goes Down the Well, Kazuo Ishiguro Knighted, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

“My characters are often looking for something that has been lost. Sometimes it’s a girl, sometimes it’s a cause, sometimes it’s a purpose. But they are looking for something important, something critical, that was lost. But when the character finds it, there will be some kind of disappointment.” At the New Yorker, Haruki Murakami discusses the recurring themes of his writing, and why he keeps sending characters down the well.

British novelist and Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro has received a knighthood from Prince Charles for his services to literature. And it’s not even the first time he’s met the prince. (Vanity Fair)

The National Book Foundation has announced the spring season of the second annual NBF Presents. The program will bring National Book Awards authors to twenty-four events in sixteen states, in a literary lineup including Robin Coste Lewis, Sigrid Nunez, and Jimmy Santiago Baca.

At Guernica, Valeria Luiselli shares the boxes of photographs, maps, and documents that fuel her essays and novels. “There are always fingerprints of the archive in my books.”

“We never went away. We don’t only deserve the stage in tumultuous times. We aren’t just rage. We’re not a fad, a torch, a blaze of loud and proud to save your ways of the world, a guide to help you gauge what’s right or wrong.” Poet Erica Dawson on being repeatedly asked to speak for “the Black experience.” (PBS NewsHour)

At the Paris Review, Mariana Dimópulos discusses her novel All My Goodbyes and bucking conventions of additive, temporal narrative structure. “When you use language to speak, you are in the middle of time. Compared with a picture, where everything is simultaneous, a story, or even a linguistic description, has a temporal shape.”

Over at the Millions, novelist Lisa Gornick speaks about her own approach to representing time in the “wide-ranging and labyrinthine plot and narrative” of her new book, The Peacock Feast.

Novelist C. Y. Lee has died at one hundred and two. When the author’s 1957 book, The Flower Drum Song, became a best-seller and an award-nominated Broadway musical and movie, Lee became one of the first Asian American novelists to find commercial success in the United States. (New York Times)