Though male politicians (Hillary’s husband included), seem to overcome scandals, to remake themselves with much more ease, we hold our female politicians, including Hillary, to a different standard....more
After five years, seven months, and eighteen days at The Rumpus, Ted Wilson Reviews the World is coming to an end. Then it’s immediately coming to a beginning when it begins appearing each week at Electric Literature, starting today.
In Episode 10 of The Rumpus Late Nite Poetry Show, poet Nicky Beer chats about her new collection, The Octopus Game, turning subject matter into art, and how we're all just shape-shifting actors trying to get through the day. ...more
I’d propose that we learn better ways of speaking up for and protecting that space, that valley; that we prescribe uselessness as a core nutrient, one we’d surely wilt without. That we write with very fierce love....more
Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought campaign, which has put essays from the likes of George Saunders and Aziz Ansari on takeout bags and soda cups, will expand next year to include a contest for young writers. Students can submit an essay on “a time when food created a memory” through the end of May. Chipotle will not only print the ten grand prize winners’ work on their burrito bags—they’ll also throw in a $20,000 college scholarship each for good measure.
If you find the thought of erotic fan fiction based on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women strangely titillating, as do I, this will surely shock and amuse. The Shipwreck series has been described as “…the most despicable literary event possible.” It’s a pleasure to see Literary Death Match get a run for its money. Writer and actor Baruch Porras-Hernandez will read the efforts of Kitty Stryker, Lauren Parker, Louis Evans, Eli Eogen, Felicity Rose, and John Talaga. $10 advance/$12 at the door, 7 p.m., The Booksmith.
The 18-year-old independent publisher McSweeney’s is looking to raise some money for a new wave of projects. The publisher of Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, TheBeliever, The Organist podcast, and more has launched a Kickstarter campaign, with plenty of rewards (including book recommendations from or conversation with Rumpus founder Stephen Elliott).
William Faulkner had recently begun a draft of “Dark House,” the novel that would ultimately become Absalom, Absalom!, when he arrived in New Orleans on February 15, 1934. He came to attend an air circus that was being thrown to celebrate the opening of Shushan Airport, which is now New Orleans Lakefront Airport. He flew there himself from Batesville, Mississippi, having earned his pilot’s license two months earlier. But he arrived a day late. Everybody was talking about what had happened the previous evening, on opening night. A pilot named Merle Nelson had crashed his “comet plane”—its wings were equipped with a device that shot flames—into the ground, where it exploded.
When I drew my last breath, no one saw me. The car that hit me drove quickly away, and a driver stopped to carry me out of the center of the road. I was already dead when he carried me, so I can say I died alone.”
Before Joan Didion, there was Eileen Chang. A slender, dramatic woman with a taste for livid details and feverish colors, Chang combined Didion’s glamor and sensibility with the terrific wit of Evelyn Waugh. She could, with a single phrase, take you hostage. Chinese readers can’t forget her; most Western readers have never met her.
“Giving up on love has been the work of a lifetime for Gornick,” writes Laura Marsh in a review of reporter, author and feminist Vivian Gornick’s new memoir, The Odd Woman and the City. In the first-ever installment of her Rumpus series “Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me,” Sari Botton interviewed Gornick on how to write vivid, honest nonfiction about the people she has loved, including ex-husbands and lovers. In The Odd Woman and the City, Marsh proposes, Gornick turns away from self-definition through romance and towards “constructing a life that doesn’t serve love, whether through hope or regret, indulgence or renunciation.”
Tributes to the soul singer have been flooding the Internet since his passing on Thursday, April 30. Many are beautiful, but possibly the most heart achingly gorgeous comes from almost two weeks prior to his death, when David Letterman asked Tracy Chapman to perform King’s “Stand By Me” on the Late Show. Watch the performance after the jump, and read more about King’s incredible career in the Guardian’s obituary of the artist. (more…)
So it goes. Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Cat’s Cradle has been optioned for television, setting the gears in motion for an adaptation of a book Vonnegut himself gave an A+ grade. With such great source material, hopefully the series won’t disappoint.
At the Guardian, novelist Julian Barnes shares his experiences developing a taste for art during his childhood, and how modernism worked to change his early impressions of what art could be. In addition, he offers insight as to how modernist art has come to influence his work, as well as the works of Flaubert and Proust.
I first began writing about art with a chapter on Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa in my novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989). Since then, I have never followed any particular plan. But the period from 1850 to 1920 continues to fascinate me, as a time of great truth-speaking combined with a fundamental reexamination of the forms of art. I think we still have a lot to learn from that time.
Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business.
Over at T Magazine, Jody Rosen gives us a glimpse into the lives of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman, who may just be “the most successful literary couple in America.”
Whether you’re singing, dancing, or making out with Spiderman, there’s something different about doing things in the rain. In an excerpt from her book Rain: A Cultural and National History published at Salon, Cynthia Barnett analyzes rain as a narrative device:
Rain is such a compelling literary and cinematic trope that it’s easily and often overdeployed, as many critics have mirthfully pointed out. Rain can be avant-garde in a Beckett play and embarrassingly melodramatic in a romance novel—or when the rain machine gushes a bit too obviously in film.