I was lucky enough to receive a subscription to the Paris Review for my birthday this year and my first issue came in the post last week. The Paris Review is a quarterly literary magazine founded in Paris in 1953 by George Plimpton, Harold L. Humes and Peter Matthiessen. Since then the magazine has become a revered institution in the world of literature. The work of many writers has been published in its pages for the first time, including Philip Roth, V. S. Naipaul and Rick Moody. I have already spoken of the Writers at Work series which has been published as a collection of four anthologies taken from the interviews that appear in every magazine. In the words of one critic, it is “one of the single most persistent acts of cultural conservation in the history of the world.”
The current issue interviews two esteemed science fiction writers: William Gibson (inventor of the word “cyberspace”) and Samuel R. Delany. In addition there is new fiction from Jonathan Lethem, David Gates, and Amie Barrodale and poetry by Frederick Seidel, Cathy Park Hong, Kevin Prufer, Lia Purpura, D. Nurkse, and Iman Mersal. The magazine has taken up permanent residence in my handbag while I read it on the bus on my way to and from work and I look forward to building up my collection!