In Saint-Germain-des-Prés, there is a lot of talk about publishers; in France as a whole, much less. In Saint-Germain people like to speculate about whether the winner of the Prix Goncourt will be published by Gallimard or Julliard; in France people look for and buy novels which they think they will enjoy. The war of the literary prizes is of interest primarily to publishers, and it would be a mistake to think that it influences opinion or affects the history and the future of the French novel. Here, at any rate, are some of the prize-winners.
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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