Monday, January 14, 2013

The New York Literary Life

A few years ago -- before the crash, back when everything seemed to me moving forward more or less fine -- I went to New York to interview three youngish writers with first novels due. I asked:

Is it possible to lead a dedicated literary life in the billionaire-filled, media-crazed New York of today? To be heedless of the material world as you burrow into novels and ideas the way the old Partisan Review gang did in the '40s and '50s, to come up with notions that rock the intellectual landscape? And if so, who exactly is still paying attention?  

The three novelists -- Nathaniel Rich, Keith Gessen and Ed Park -- all had slightly different answers. You can find my story here. I'm still unsure how the changed economic/literary/journalistic landscape changes all this.

And these days, Rich has a new novel coming -- fresh off a burst of journalistic activity and a profile on him and his bro in NYT Styles. Gessen had a recent piece in the New Yorker and continues to write for  N+1, which he helped found. And Ed Park, a longtime editor at The Believer, was recently hired by Amazon to acquire new fiction.

Look forward to more from these three gents.

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