Continuing our newsletter series, Granta Best of Young American Novelist Akhil Sharma, author of the much-anticipated new novel Family Life, shares five links of what he’s reading, watching, thinking about and loving right now.
1. I love Frank Delaney’s brilliant and insanely detailed exegesis on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Delaney does very short podcasts, some only three or four minutes long and covering just a paragraph of Ulysses. What I like about his analysis is both the intelligence behind it and the happiness I feel when I see somebody doing something out of love and admiration. It makes the world a bigger place.
2. I like to read about finance. Doing this forces me to think about things which I don’t have any practical reason to consider. For my general financial news I go to Bloomberg. For my interest in funds and market volatility I like Zero Hedge. This latter has a bit more melodrama to it.
3. I also follow OED on Twitter for stuff like this:
Tired of the word ‘awesome’? Alternatives include eximious, braw, topgallant, prestantious, supernacular, or snodger.
— The OED (@OED) April 14, 2014
4. I love to imagine myself in different locations and I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at fourseasons.com and then comparing the hotels there to hotels mentioned on the hotel review site Trip Advisor. Researching hotels in particular cities is a nice way to learn about cities in general. It is also a great way to daydream and waste time.
5. Recently I have been listening to recordings of writers giving talks at 92y.org and reading interviews of writers on the Paris Review website. There is nothing eerier than hearing the voice of a long-dead writer whom you admire. There is also in the polish of the Paris Review interviews (for which writers can revise their answers) a feeling of listening to smarter and better people than one can ever meet in real life.
Cover image © SportsSuburban, TravelLodge Las Vegas, 2015