Posts by: Amanda Hildebrand

Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Essay, Byron F. Aspaas bares his slowly healing scars of communities lost before they were found and countries-turned-battlefields to remind us that our transformations into our true selves are never complete.

And the Rumpus Inaugural Poems project continues on this last weekend of freedom with “& who , this time” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and two poems, “horror movie pitch” and “horror movie pitch 2,” by Eve L.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, Leila Aboulela examines time and its tricks in “Pinpricks” for the Saturday Rumpus Essay.

And this weekend, we kicked off our Rumpus Inaugural Poems project with Leila Chatti’s eulogy for every mother’s lost country in “Motherland,” and Kaveh Akbar’s surreal images of reconstructionism in “Poem to a Conqueror.”

Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks shares a very funny new comic, “An Interview with BabyFace McTithead.”

Finally, in Sunday Rumpus Poetry, Faisal Mohyuddin offers us three simple moments of hope amongst riddles of anxiety in complicated times.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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A very happy New Year from everyone at The Rumpus!

First, in the Saturday Essay, Shamala Gallagher thinks about “what counts as truth” in the process of creating your own narrative during times of identity crisis.

And in the Sunday Essay, Peggy Shinner captures a moment of disconnect between a family bound by history, lost in their differences, longing for something they can’t name.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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We hope you had a merry Christmas! Here’s a comic from Brandon Hicks on Santa vs. God.

As Standing Rock quiets and the Water Protectors move to the next phase of resistance, Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. studies the wašíču, the fat-takers, on the other side of the divide in the Saturday Essay.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, Ruby Hansen Murray explores the surreal landscapes of historic Native American locations turned educational tourist hotspots in the Saturday Rumpus Essay, as she journeys with the Osage Nation Historical Preservation Department to Cahokia, the site of an ancient agrarian culture in now-Illinois, among camera-carrying tourists and young field-trippers.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Essay, Kaitlin Barker Davis lays bare the grief, and examines the imperfect, often bizarre language, that accompanies a “missed miscarriage.”

And Brandon Hicks shares irreverent bits from his drawing board in “Misc.: Stray Thoughts.”

Then, in the Sunday Essay, Piper J.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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In this week’s Saturday Rumpus Essay, Terese Mailhot, our Saturday Rumpus editor, shares rallying words from Cherokee author Barbara Robidoux. Robidoux calls on us to stop walking our beaten trails and take a stand against faux “boy’s club” leaders. This powerful excerpt was originally spoken by Robidoux before a demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Rumpus Essay, Casandra Lopez threads together the fragments of self-identity, the love of cars her father and brother were born with, and a lost soul. Through the retelling of the death of her younger brother, Lopez explores the lasting wounds it caused for her and for her family, and how it feels to be related to the dead—it’s a brokenness that requires years of care and love—much like a beat-up car—to heal.

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Interactive Fiction for the Digital Age

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For Vocativ, Allee Manning speaks with novelist-turned-digital-publisher Sean Michaels, creator of The Seers Catalogue, an “interactive piece of narrative literature” that has reimagined the old-school click-through Internet mysteries (door one or two?) into complex interactive fiction for the digital age.

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The Card Game Everyone Will Be Playing This Holiday Season

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Electric Literature just launched a fundraising campaign for their new literary card game full of crude humor and punny jokes about favorite classic authors and works. According to its Kickstarter page, Papercuts: A Party Game for the Rude and Well-Read is “what Kurt Vonnegut, James Baldwin, and Virginia Woolf would play if they were alive, locked in a room together, and forced to play a card game.” If the funding goal is met, we’ll be playing Papercuts by this Christmas!

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New(ish) Tolkien Book Coming in 2017

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Beren and Lúthien, a Middle-earth story about forbidden love between an Elven woman and human man, based famously on Tolkien’s own love for his wife, is set to be published as its own title in 2017, on the 100-year anniversary since the two characters first appeared in a Tolkien story.

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“A Star That Peers Through Your Window”

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German children’s book author Thomas Mac Pfeifer spent over a year interviewing children who had migrated to Germany from war-stricken countries such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with the purpose of hearing and collecting their favorite bedtime stories into one book, Ein Stern, der in dein Fenster schaut (“A star that peers through your window”).

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Don’t Buy Mark Haddon’s New Book on Amazon, Says Mark Haddon

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Author of bestselling book-turned-play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon recently published a new book, The Pier Falls. The book comes in two editions: just the text, available on Amazon, or including illustrations by Haddon, available only in hardcover at bookstores.

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Malala Yousafzai Lands Children’s Book Deal

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Nobel Peace Prize winner and teenage activist Malala Yousafzai is still fighting nonstop for empowerment and education with her forthcoming project, a picture book meant to encourage children to create change in the world around them. Malala’s Magic Pencil—”[i]nspired by her own childhood wish… to help make the world a better place”is to be released in Fall 2017, Kristian Wilson reports for Bustle.

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Kids Read to Their Barbers for More Than a $2 Discount

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The Fuller Cut in Ypsilanti, Michigan is offering $2 discounts to kids who read a book to their barber during their haircuts. For NPR, Jennifer Guerra speaks with customers/readers and their parents, who not only are shaving a bit off their haircut budgets, but also have the extra opportunity to encourage reading and comprehension for their kids outside of school.

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The Book Lady Is Back

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Dolly Parton, pop culture’s resident “Book Lady,” has written a children’s book based off of one of her hits, “Coat of Many Colors.” The book is to be released on October 18, Robyn Collins for Radio.com reports. Coat of Many Colors will describe the story of a young Dolly who struggles with classism and bullying; the book will include a download of Parton’s new song, “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny.”

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Book Thief Stabs British Collector for The Wind in the Willows

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The rare book business turned deadly for a British book dealer, who was stabbed and killed for his first-edition copy of The Wind in the Willows (worth about $64,000) in April, Michael Schaub reports at the Los Angeles Times. The suspect, in calculating crime novel fashion, was planning a robbing-spree among more celebrities and keepers of rare goodies, keeping details of his plans in an Excel spreadsheet.

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Reading YA Lit as an Act of Resistance

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These and many other stories hope to remind us that the freedom to choose our own reading is a form of resistance against the looming threat of a totalitarian state…

YA literature has situated itself as one of the most influential genres in publishing, with more adults reading YA than ever, and young adults being the most “literate” demographic.

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Home-Turned-Library Brings Japanese Literature to Community

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For the Los Angeles TimesKelly Corrigan spoke with Mitsuko Roberts of Glendale, California about The Okanoue Library, a collection of over 700 works of Japanese literature, film, and other media donated by Glendale’s Japanese community. Roberts hosts this collection a few times a month in her home-turned-library, lending out materials and offering Japanese reading classes.

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American Lit’s Reclusive Editor

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Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes off; his forthcoming memoir; and why editors should lay low and let authors have the spotlight.

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Our New Librarian-in-Chief’s Favorite Children’s Book

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Last week, Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress, making her the first woman and the first African-American in the position. Hayden talked with Jeffrey Brown of PBS Newshour about the challenges of her new position, and her favorite children’s book, Bright April by Marguerite de Angeli, a story about a young girl who experiences racial discrimination.

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Literary Loyalty, Sad Sequels, Sadder Fans

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Loyalty seems to have no payoff for fans of every and any book that has ever had a sequel, because these next installments almost always disappoint—but why does it have to be this way? For Cultured Vultures, Nat Wassell gives a few examples of flaccid sequels and continuations; discusses responsibility from the author, publisher, and even reader; and argues for the reader’s right to demand better material from publishers, who seem to be side-sweeping both loyal fans and unsuspecting authors aside for the next marketing scheme.

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Facing Reality in China’s “Ultra-Unreal” Literature

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A literary movement aiming to express the surrealist daily life of modern China (a reality that can’t be captured by traditional genres like satire or horror) is giving the next generation of Chinese authors the opportunity to subtly critique their surroundings without government backlash.

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Reviving Dominican Literature with “a Concert of Poetry”

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Global Voices introduces us to El Hombrecito, a music group that interweaves Dominican poetry and visual art into their performances, in a story written by Natali Herrera Pacheco and translated by Eleanor Weekes. El Hombrecito hopes to spark interest in the country’s literature by setting it against the backdrop of bachata, rock, or experimental music, which brings literature to a much wider audience, and also separates Dominican literature from Western, democratized influences.

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Pura Belpré: New York’s First Puerto Rican Librarian

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Pura Belpré began her long, luminous career as a librarian, storyteller, author, activist, and puppeteer when she moved to New York in 1921. Not only was Belpré NYC’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Neda Ulaby reports for NPR, she was the first to perform story times in English and Spanish (with puppets), opening up a world of reading for her community’s Spanish-speaking youth, and also the first to have a Spanish-language children’s book published by a major US press.

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“Our Parents Wouldn’t Let Us”: The Death of Liberal Arts

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The liberal arts are shrinking fast on college campuses, and for one simple reason: parents don’t want their kids to have liberal arts degrees. For the Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein, Professor of Public Affairs at George Mason University, writes about witnessing this phenomenon firsthand in his own classroom.

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Shakespeare Didn’t Make up as Many Words as We Think

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For the Guardian, Alison Flood writes on the bias of the Oxford English Dictionary towards “famous literary examples” instead of the actual origin, resulting in the incorrect attribution of several still-used words and phrases to Shakespeare. Flood writes that there are multitudes of evidence showing earlier usages of phrases such as “wild goose chase” and “it’s Greek to me,” citing Shakespearean scholar Dr.

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Roald Dahl’s Hidden Village Home

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Take a stroll through the storybook town of Great Missenden, a tiny village in the county of Buckinghamshire in Britain, and the home of children’s literature’s grand-wizard, Roald Dahl, in the latter half of his life. For Hazlitt, Michael Hingston tours Great Missenden and reflects on the similarities between the little town and the settings in Dahl’s books, which became increasingly rural and homey as he neared the end of his career and life.

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