Welcome to Grove at Home!
Every weekday, from now until we’re all out of the house again, we’ll be sharing a couple of links — some fresh, some from the vault — to say hi, remind you to keep reading, and let you know what’s on our minds.
Thursday, July 2
Happy Birthday, Larry David!
It’s July 2nd, and we’re wishing a very happy seventy-third birthday to the one and only Larry David. One way to celebrate is with this short video from 2015, when Larry’s play “A Fish in the Dark” premiered on broadway. It went pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty well.
Larry David: Happy guy, style icon
While we’re celebrating the birthday boy, here’s a great interview he gave to GQ’s Brett Martin at the start of this year, when things were… different than they are now. David talks about being happier than people think, defends his Curb Your Enthusiasm character, and offers no shortage of his trademark wit.
“‘Jerry said I dressed like an Upper West Side communist,’ David says, referring to the Jerry with whom he created Seinfeld, back in 1989. I think of the look as Alpha TV Writer: In a profession where status is measured by how casually and comfortably one can arrive at work, David’s wardrobe qualifies as a kind of normcore bling.” Continue reading…
Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods on WGBH
Last week, we covered the response of author Viet Thanh Nguyen to director Spike Lee’s latest film, Da 5 Bloods. As Nguyen’s trenchant, incisive take on the movie continues to draw attention, media outlets have reached out, inviting him to share his perspective. This week, it was Boston’s public radio station, WGBH. “I think what’s basically missing,” Nguyen told listeners, “is the perception of the Vietnamese people as humanity, pure and simple.”
Wednesday, July 1
Today being July 1, we can now officially declare that next month will see the release of The Lost Pianos of Siberia, in which journalist Sophy Roberts documents her three-year odyssey of discovery through the rugged, fabled landscape of Siberia — which comprises almost a tenth of the world’s land — in search of forgotten pianos. Here’s the book trailer. Get excited.
Angela Flournoy on Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House, out now in paperback!
Last summer, we had the joy of publishing Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House, a debut book that went on to garner all-but-unheard-of levels of critical praise and recognitions including a public shout-out from Barack Obama, inclusion among the New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of the year, and a National Book Award. To celebrate the fact that we yesterday released the beautiful paperback, today we’re re-reading Angela Flournoy’s absolutely exceptional write-up in the New York Times Book Review.
“Broom is our guide, but not the sort who holds readers’ hands, uninterested as she is in tidy transitions between one type of writing and another. The through line is her thought process, her frequent questioning: ‘When you come from a mythologized place, as I do, who are you in that story?’ she asks while living for a year in the French Quarter after a lifetime of merely shuttling through it for work.” Continue reading…
Well, the cat’s out of the bag: we’re very excited to be publishing Last Chance Texaco, memoir of the legendary Rickie Lee Jones, next spring. And preorders open today! On the off chance that you need a reminder of how exciting this news really is, here’s a concert Jones offered from her living room this weekend, featuring special guest Mike Dillon. Do yourself a favor!
Tuesday, June 30
Sophy Roberts in Siberia
On August 4th, we’ll release The Lost Pianos of Siberia in the US. It’s the first book from journalist Sophy Roberts, who’s won acclaim with bylines in the Financial Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and more. The book tracks Roberts’s three-year adventure photographing the people, landscapes, and, indeed, forgotten pianos of this legendary, majestic, and oft-misunderstood landscape. To help tide us over for the next month, here’s a positively fantastic video of some of epic moments from her intrepid travels.
Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Model Minority myth
Viet Thanh Nguyen is one of America’s most respected writers, a reputation he firmly cemented with his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer. (He’s recently revealed himself to be one of our most capable film critics, too.) And as a columnist, he is quickly making himself absolutely indispensable to a national conversation that could not be more urgent. Last week, writing in Time, he once again showed why, with a powerful article on the killing of George Floyd, the complexities of identity, and the “model minority” myth that has long haunted Asian-American life. It’s a powerful read.
“The face of Tou Thao haunts me. The Hmong-American police officer stood with his back turned to Derek Chauvin, his partner, as Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and murdered him.” Continue reading…
Milton Nascimento and Chico Buarque sing “O Que Será A Flor de la Pele”
Something beautiful: the acclaimed duo of Brazilian singers Milton Nascimento and Chico Buarque singing their song “O Que Será A Flor de la Pele.” Treat yourself.
Monday, June 29
Claudia Rankine in conversation with Alondra Nelson
In late 2016, less than two weeks after the election of Donald Trump, the singular Claudia Rankine appeared on a panel at the Brooklyn Historical Society with social scientist and author Alondra Nelson to discuss her own work, the nature of race in America, and what happens when “the mechanism in which we have been negotiating is laid bare.” As we brace ourselves for the heating up of another election season, it’s well worth a watch:
Pianist and bandleader Jon Jang is a leading voice in contemporary American jazz eclecticism, creating dynamic music in which we hear the influence of traditions from across the world, and every corner of the human experience. In an interview with Mother Jones to discuss his recent album, The Pledge of Black Asian Allegiance, Jang opens up about his perspectives and influences — including that of the legendary American poet and music writer Amiri Baraka.
“[Baraka’s] Blues People was the book to read. Amiri was a star. There were thousands of people coming to see him perform. He attained a kind of celebrity status. In the early years, I idolized him.” Continue reading…
On August 11, we’ll publish Private Means, the debut novel by acclaimed memoirist and food writer Cree LeFavour. To help keep the long summer weeks rolling until you can get your hands on it, here’s a clip of Cree reading from and discussing her memoir Lights on, Rats Out, which the New York Times Book Review praised as “courageous and unsettling… infused with humor as well as pain, and marked throughout by a survivor’s wry insight.”