A conversation with the novelist Celeste Ng
"Actually, we write these books because this is in the world. We're not putting it in the world." Exactly. People who are upset that they can't control the world seek to control representations of it. Thank you for this interview!
I loved the thread throughout this interview about being thoughtful in the literal sense - from art to navigating online spaces as a woman to seeing the value in bubbles/silos vs. listening and engaging beyond them.
For anyone interested in learning more about the current state of book bans (it's worse than you think), my friend Kelly Jensen writes Stacked Thoughts here on Substack - she covers the book censorship beat for Book Riot. https://stackedthoughts.substack.com/
Always so interesting to hear Celeste Ng's thoughts! And Lyz, too, of course! I love this cogent reflection on the role that Twitter played and how difficult it will be to recreate that expansive, permeable online social space. I had a Twitter account in 2009 and it was such a lovely intimate place, which for a while only got better as more people joined. And then the perhaps inevitable downturn. I hope the techno-societal lesson we can learn from this is how to develop and preserve similar open spaces for human interaction. As a writer, I too cherish the idea of being in conversation with other readers and writers. These places still exist--substack and discord come to mind--but they are fragmented in comparison. Twitter's community was almost entirely unplanned. Let's make other such delightful accidents our project for the future.
What a joy to read the thoughtful meeting of two people I admire.
Celeste Ng is SUCH a thoughtful person, and I love reading/hearing interviews with her. Wonderful. (I enjoy her books, too!)
Thanks to all parties interviewed and interviewing today. I learned a lot.
It is very interesting to hear about the entire eco-system of book bans -- I'm most familiar with libraries but of course authors and publishers and readers are in harm's way, too.
That is EXACTLY what Twitter used to be
I love how this interview is not about the book that Celeste wrote (though I do now want to read it) but about writing and being a writer.
What a thoughtful interview! I’ll be thinking about your reflections on Twitter for a while - it was a crucial part of expanding my worldview back in 2011 because, like Celeste said, I got to listen in on other conversations.
This was such an illuminating and lovely interview, thank you both for this bit of gold today! 💙
Thanks to the both of you.
Catching up on my reading this weekend, which means I got to luxuriate in this interview. Eavesdropping on this conversation is reminiscent of the best times on Twitter (excellently described by Celeste): both of you are such honest, thoughtful persons. It was a joy to read... and if I say any more here I will go all fan-girly over Celeste and the brilliance of her last book that hit me so deep and made me cry often, and how much I really like ...