BURN PILE: A must-read Arundhati Roy profile; taboo disclosures in fiction; getting empathic

Arundhati Roy_CC "I'm not a person who likes to use fiction as a means." Siddhartha Deb's profile of Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things, details the political writing and actions that followed the author's Booker Prize-winning first novel, and reveals that, 17 years after her debut, Roy has a new novel in the works.

Sharing "private tensions" with the average reader: Tim Parks—whose novel Sex is Forbidden exposed at least one reviewer to "the drama of snooping in a private journal"—inquires whether—or, perhaps, howintimate knowledge of an author's personal life alter responses to his books.

"Empathy is always perched precariously between gift and invasion." We were thrilled to catch a panel featuring Leslie Jamison, author of the forthcoming essay collection The Empathy Exams, at AWP. A version of the first chapter, an account of Jamison's time as a medical actor, is up now at The Believer's site.