Blair Braverman discusses her latest book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North, gendered travel narratives, and the pressure to write about personal trauma. ...more
Raphael Cormack discusses The Book of Khartoum: A City in Short Fiction, a collection of short stories he co-edited and translated, the editorial process, and the responsibilities that accompany translating writing. ...more
And while the faces and nomenclature between these historically discrete agents of change differ, the one governing commonality remains the same: unfettered gun ownership and correlative violence play a pivotal role....more
I was writing emails when Facebook and Twitter began beeping and pinging, telling me that Something Very Important had happened. While I had known a degree of pleasure at winning prizes before, I had never been overtaken by this kind of physical sensation: trembling, accelerated heartbeat, disbelief – all due to a sense that my life was altered.
Where Morrissey gives us a conventional autobiography in an unconventional way—no chapters, paragraphs that run for half-a-dozen pages, and seemingly no contribution from an editor—Jay-Z is more formally experimental, mixing memoir with manifesto in chapters that are centered on extensive, line-by-line analysis of some of his most famous, and infamous, lyrics. But the two books are united by the fact that, in their various ways, they both engage with pop’s great cause: the frustration of the misunderstood outsider.
Are you in a rut with your writing? Blocked for ideas and inspiration? Finding those writing exercises designed to spark your imagination getting a little stale? Try some writing exorcises instead, courtesy of McSweeney’s. A little dark magic might go a long way to helping you buck those obstacles to your writing.
At the Los Angeles Review of Books, screenwriter Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn makes a strong and timely case for Hollywood to quit casting big-name white actors no matter the role. Particularly egregious, and absurd, is the idea of Leonardo DiCaprio as the 13th century Persian poet Rumi. Armed with suggestions for brown actors, she points out wryly, “[m]isappropriating the identity of an iconic character like Rumi does not challenge stereotypes, it reinforces them.”
Dischord Records has made its entire discography available on Bandcamp, meaning that anyone can immediately become an expert on what it took many of us at least a full year of high school to collect via mixtape. The archive includes seminal DC punk and hardcore bands like Minor Threat, Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and the Faith. Check out the full catalog here.
NPR talks with the creators of Serial Box, a company self-described as the “HBO for readers.” Serial Box releases “episodes” you read over a 10-16 week season, in the hopes that readers will anticipate the next installment like they would the next episode of The Bachelorette, or binge-read a series after purchasing the complete box set.
I think I always knew this story about the rural road where I grew up needed to be told.
At the Believer, Annie DeWitt talks to Brandon Hobson about realism, ambiguity, and how her own childhood folds into her new novel, White Nights in Split Town City, out in August from Tyrant Books. Guiding lights include other writers of short, experimental fiction like Christine Schutt, Amy Hempel, and Gary Lutz.
“Tryin’ to stop the waves behind your eyeballs,” Mick Jagger sings on “Sweet Virginia,” a determined country shuffle off their seminal 1972 record, Exile On Main Street, an album frequently mentioned on Best Of lists and widely hailed as one of the most influential of the century. The next line, “Drop your reds, drop your greens and blues,” seems to allude to a mysterious elixir of drugs. Guitarist Keith Richards, Jagger’s co-writer on “Sweet Virginia,” was allegedly plunging into the depths of a heroin habit that would last many years beyond the song’s release. In spite of that atmosphere, this song swings hard, carried forward by a perfect complement of gospel backup vocals and soulful saxophones.
Thursday 7/28: The Shygge reading series brings together Kimberly Fanshier and Sara June Woods for this month’s reading. The reading will be paired with an installation by Shelbee Smith. NE 55th, 7 p.m., free.
Friday 7/29: J.R. Thornton reads from his big-hearted debut, Beautiful Country. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.
Sunday 7/31: À Reading brings together Sidony O’neal, Juleen Johnson, and Tommy Pico for this month’s reading, featuring guest host Julian Smuggles. Valentines, 5 p.m., free.
Writers experience all sorts of anxieties and doubts, such that many find themselves taking a spiraling descent into the worst existential crises. No writer should feel alone in this—over at The Millions, Robert Fay writes about the many writers who have fought the long hard battle against nihilism in their writing careers.
One thing that interests me about Beyoncé is who her predecessors are, and how she’s a kind of symbol for all the different ways that black women are revered but also surveilled in a really intense way, put on display.
Morgan Parker’s poetry collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, comes out in 2017. Alex Dueben’s interview with Parker at the Paris Review touches on the tradition of pop-culture references, the echo chamber of history and mythology, and black womanhood.
Dave Hemingway of Macon, North Carolina and who is of no relation to the author, finally lifted the triumphant bust of “Papa” Hemingway after seven previous appearances in the contest. According to the man himself, what put him over the top this time was the choice of an authentically Hemingway-esque wool, cream-colored turtleneck.