The Paris Review – Why Tights and No Knickers?

Danielle Orchard, Lint2022. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin Gallery. The women in Danielle Orchard’s paintings are usually undressed, or only partially clothed. They might be smoking a cigarette in the bath, or staring at themselves in a mirror, or eating from a bowl of popcorn in bed. Orchard’s settings are often mundane—a bedroom, a … Read more

The Paris Review – Michelle de Kretser and David Orr Recommend; Our Editors Remember Hilary Mantel

Gabriel Mälesskircher, Saint Guy Healing a Possessed Manpublic domain, via Wikimedia Commons. This week, we remember Hilary Mantel (1952–2022), and bring you recommendations from two of our issue no. 241 contributors. On holiday in France, I went to Colmar to see the Isenheim Altarpiece in the Musée Unterlinden. Afterward, wandering through the museum’s collection of … Read more

The Paris Review – For the Record, the Review Has Not Abolished Fiction

Subject: Inquiry about a small change beginning with issue 238 Dear Emily, Volume 238 dropped the fiction and nonfiction labels previously attached to prose pieces. I found no rationale for the decision in your editor’s note to that edition, although your reference to “fiction or nonfiction or something in between” may be an allusion to … Read more

The Paris Review – Free Dirt

Free dirt. Photograph via Craigslist. For the past three years, I’ve filled a folder on my desktop with pictures of dirt that I found on Craigslist. The dirt in each picture was offered free of charge to whoever was willing to pick it up (“You haul”) or, if you were lucky, a free-dirter might have … Read more

The Paris Review – Other People’s Partings

Fall River, Massachusetts. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. So many accounts of Chekhov’s death, many of them exaggerated, some outright bogus. The only indisputable thing is that he died at forty-four. That’s etched in stone in Moscow. I like to read them anyway. I’m not alone. Chekhov death fanatics abound. His last sip … Read more

Paris playground

Received wisdom has it that any life worth writing can be written again after twenty years. What is required is a new point of view; fresh material helps. In choosing, for her latest biography (previous subjects have included Diana Mosley and Lord Snowdon), to look again at the rebellious society beauty, poet, publisher and campaigner … Read more

The Paris Review – Goethe’s Advice for Young Writers

“Here lived Peter Eckermann, Goethe’s Friend, in the Year 1854” (plaque honoring Eckermann in Ilmenau). Photo by Michael Sander, via Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Johann Peter Eckermann was born in 1792. In 1823 he sent Johann Wolfgang von Goethe a collection of his essays about the writer’s works, and he became Goethe’s … Read more

The Paris Review – Chateaubriand on Writing Memoir between Two Societies

Charles Etienne Pierre Motte, The Surroundings of Dieppe1833, licensed under CC0 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons. François-René de northern Chateaubriand (1768–1848) was born in Saint-Malo, on the coast of Brittany, the youngest son of an Aristocratic family. After an isolated adolescence spent largely in his father’s castle, he moved to Paris not long before the revolution … Read more