Who Cares About The Great American Novel?

“A question from the New York Times’ Bookends, “Where is the great American novel by a woman?,” got an interesting answer from the Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid…

[Ursula’s answer, in short:]

But there’s something coy and coercive about the question itself that made me want to charge into the bullring, head down and horns forward. I’d answer it with a question: Where is the great American novel by anybody? And I’d answer that: Who cares?…

…Art is not a horse race. Literature is not the Olympics. The hell with The Great American Novel. We have all the great novels we need right now—and right now some man or woman is writing a new one we won’t know we needed till we read it.”

—Ursula K. Le Guin, “Who Cares About The Great American Novel?Literary Hub. December 6, 2017.

Love Ursula. 

Taste of Loneliness and Love

“I believe there is a reason certain tastes, scents, sounds, and sights move me the way they do; part of it is conditioning, the other is deeper. For instance, I have no connection to the church, but I have grown to love gospel music and feel myself moved by the passion. I’m a Jew, but I listen to Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam’ every morning just to get to Kirk Franklin’s verse, his prayer ‘for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up,’ and who ‘feels they’ve said ‘I’m sorry’ too many times.’ I’ve learned to understand what’s so beautiful about another person’s devotion; I grow by learning to love and appreciate new things.”

—Jason Diamond, “Judging Books by Their Covers.” Longreads.com. October 2017.

Enjoyable essay throughout.