"I don’t know why writers are mourning the death of an industry that’s done so little for them for so long…. It’s time writers thought of themselves as an army rather than a city under siege." —What has the publishing industry done for you lately anyway?
Rosecrans Baldwin (author of Paris I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down) spent much of the year traveling America, quizzing people about France; he even visited four of the 25 places named "Paris" in the U.S. His highly scientific survey had intriguing results: My toughest question: “Name up to three current French artists (writers, painters, musicians, actors, etc.)” I figured that most people wouldn’t be able to name more than two. It’s worse than I expected. A barista in Detroit bristles when I ask him, as though I’m mocking his ignorance. A photographer’s assistant in Boise beats herself up for being unable to summon a single [...]
"When I interview a Russian person or a Turkish person and tell them that a fact checker is going to call on the phone and confirm everything, they can’t wrap their heads around it. Russians are eventually like, 'Oh OK, your paper really wants to avoid a lawsuit.' But Turkish people take it as a sign that I’m a junior person. They’re like, 'Oh, poor thing, your boss still doesn’t trust you. They still have to check up on you.'" —Elif Batuman.