Who is your reader?
Keith Gessen is editor-in-chief of n+1, a twice-yearly magazine of literature, politics, and culture based in New York City.
Gessen graduated from Harvard College and earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University in 2004. Gessen, who was born in Russia, has written about Russia for The Atlantic and the New York Review of Books. Gessen has also written about books for magazines including Dissent, Slate, and New York, where he was the regular book critic.
His first novel, All the Sad Young Literary Men, was published in April 2008.
Question: Who is your reader?\r\n
Keith Gessen: Above all, I think this book is for people who are getting out of school, and they’re wondering, as I wondered ten years ago, how this thing works, and what’s going to happen to them. And they’re probably not in New York. They’re probably in Cleveland or Philadelphia or Portland. And they’re wondering, how do I make a life for myself? As a writer, as an intellectual- now, you won’t actually learn that from the book- you learn a lot of things that you shouldn’t do. <chuckles>
But I think if, you know, I felt like when I- and I loved reading books about writers when I was younger, and I still do- and those books, you know, Balzac, Lost Illusions, one of my favorite books- New Grub Street, by Gissing, where everyone starves- everyone literally starves. And those books are very funny, and yet, in a way, they’re- they don’t actually- they’re not that useful to a writer in a- you know, a young person in 2008. They are very dramatic. They’re very melodramatic. The choices that they put before their characters are very stark. In fact, it turns out that the choices that you have in this life are a lot less stark than that. They’re very subtle, and so it’s- I tried to be true to that experience.\r\n
All The Sad Young Literary Men is for college grads wondering "how this works," says Gessen.
Come to grips with the fundamentals of graphic design and master the field's top tools.
Will your grandchildren live in cities on Antarctica?
Micronesia is gone – sunk beneath the waves. Pakistan and South India have been abandoned. And Europe is slowly turning into a desert. This is the world, 4°C warmer than it is now.
Vaccines have done their job so well that anti-vax parents have forgotten the horror of contagious disease.
- "Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand," says epidemiologist Dr Larry Brilliant, "but vaccines are not one of those factors."
- Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of children's lives—they have eradicated smallpox, nearly eradicated polio, and they have reduced the population explosion. How? Thanks to vaccinations, parents no longer expect 50% of their children to die from disease, so they have less children.
- Vaccines have protected the lives of children so effectively that anti-vax parents—who only have their children's best interests at heart—have lost sight of how critical vaccines are. When polio was rampant in the U.S., parents waited in line for hours and hours to have their children vaccinated. Safety changes our mental calculus, but vaccinations must continue to ensure that safety lasts.