- Chris Hartlove/NPR
This morning, novelist Anne Tyler gave her first-on air interview in 35 years, to NPR's Lynn Neary. The two discussed Baltimore, mortality, and Tyler's attitude toward her characters; you can read or listen to it here. In conjunction with the interview, NPR offers an interactive photo map of Anne Tyler's Baltimore, including photos of locations that have featured in her books. I think the pictures are too dramatic and goth-y to really capture the spirit of Tyler's work, but they're paired with contextualizing quotes that made me remember how much I like her writing—it's so unassuming and clear and emotionally smart. She's got a new book out next week.
In sadder news: The New York Times thoughtfully eulogizes the Baltimore-born feminist/queer poet Adrienne Rich, who died on Tuesday. Rich's On Lies, Secrets, and Silence blew my tiny high school mind the first time I read it; the New York Times piece tracks Rich's transformation from a diligently formal poet (and married mother of three) into a radical feminist poet and critic:
In 1997, in a widely reported act, Ms. Rich declined the National Medal of Arts, the United States government’s highest award bestowed upon artists. In a letter to Jane Alexander, then chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts, which administers the award, she expressed her dismay, amid the “increasingly brutal impact of racial and economic injustice,” that the government had chosen to honor “a few token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.”
Art, Ms. Rich added, “means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage.”