Document asked six of our favorite writers how living in isolation changed their consumption of art and media. The second installment features the author of 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner 'The Hours'
Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours, winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, A Home at the End of the World, Specimen Days, and the short story collection, A Wild Swan and Other Tales, among other works.
What I’m reading: I seem, for mysterious reasons, to be drawn to the very brief (just finished Mary Gaitskill’s This is Pleasure) and to the very long (just started Lucy Ellman’s Ducks, Newburyport). Stunning new short stories in recent New Yorkers by Anne Enright and Tessa Hadley. And every night I read a few of the reviews and essays in Peter Schjeldahl’s collection, Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light. The piece on Matisse, and another on the Ghent altarpiece, are enough, in and of themselves, to remind us that civilization is, in fact, worth saving.
My husband and I are watching more TV than ever (and frankly, we watched a fair amount before the pandemic). We do, however, feel the need for a particular species of un-stupid half-hour comedies which, I’m pleased to report, can be had, in abundance. Please watch, immediately, tonight, not necessarily in this order: Ramy, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, and Better Things. Trust me.
Musically, I’m listening to old favorites, Pulp and The Cinematic Orchestra and, yes, Leonard Cohen. Usually late at night. By way of contact with my former life. Here’s to our present, and our future, lives.
See what Olivia Laing and Marlon James have been reading under lockdown.