See accompanying image for an illustration of what the oncoming semester feels like.
I’m just about done prepping a new class — an intro English lit class, “Women’s Popular Genres” — and I’ve finished my wonderful two-year internship at the Harry Ransom Center, where I worked in the Public Services department. I’m finishing up my first dissertation chapter, trying to stay on top of the book world, writing fellowship applications, and awaiting a galley copy of my first academic publication, which needs marking up. Among other things. Have I mentioned how hot this summer has been in Austin? Only twelve million times? Sorry.
The other thing I’ve done recently is race through Tana French‘s first two books, In the Woods and The Likeness. My mother sent me the first one and I stayed up till one-thirty on the night before my last day at the Ransom Center in order to finish it and read so fast I gave myself a headache. I actually enjoyed The Likeness even more, though, and not just because of French’s marvelously well-done homage to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History (which French names as “both my favorite literary novel and my favorite crime novel” — oddly enough, the reading guide for The Likeness includes not a single mention of The Secret History). Highly recommended.
Here’s a news story that wouldn’t be at all out of place in one of French’s books.
And, to conclude, a surprisingly pleasant and edifying back-and-forth between Matthew Cheney and Tonaya Thompson, an assistant editor at Tin House, about Tin House’s standards for genre material.
Now: back to my to-do list.