Posts by: Brian Spears

September in the Rumpus Book Club

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This month, The Rumpus Book Club is reading Jade Chang’s debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World, which Jami Attenberg calls her “favorite debut of the year,” and of which Kirkus Reviews writes, “A Chinese-American family tumbles from riches to rags in Chang’s jam-packed, high-energy debut… this debut novelist holds nothing back.”

In our Poetry Book Club, we’re thrilled to read Janice Harrington’s Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H.

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Coming to the Rumpus Book Clubs in June

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The Rumpus Book Clubs have been around for over six years now and they remain unique in a couple of important ways. First, we only feature pre-release books—that is, books that haven’t gone on sale yet, so you’re getting copies before anyone else (sometimes before the authors receive their personal copies!).

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Princess Leia: Feminist Hero

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Star Wars is a bit more pop-culture-y than we tend to do around here, but I can’t help but share this piece from Emily Hauser on why we should stop talking about “Slave Leia” (who’s only in that costume for three minutes) and instead talk about “Leia the Hutt Slayer”:

We’re not the franchise, though.

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On Refugees, and Refusing to Be Scared

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The news that governors are suddenly deciding that they don’t want to welcome Syrian refugees has really driven home to me just how cowardly much of this country is. We talk tough, mind you, but when we’re asked to really open ourselves up to something, we refuse.

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What’s Coming Up for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club is finishing up this month’s book, Reginald Dwayne Betts’s incredible Bastards of the Reagan Era, and getting ready for our online chat with the author (my favorite part of the Rumpus Book Club experience), but I thought it would be nice to showcase what’s coming up in the next few months.

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About That Kenny Goldsmith Piece in the New Yorker

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We ran a blog post earlier today about Alec Wilkinson’s pretty crap piece about Kenny Goldsmith in the New Yorker which we characterized as “refreshingly even-handed.” That description is only accurate if you define even-handed as a several-thousand word tongue-bath in the pages of a huge magazine which both ignored and dismissed many of Goldsmith’s critics.

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Yellowface in Poetry

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There’s a storm in the poetry world, this one set off by the bio in Best American Poetry 2015 of Michael Derrick Hudson, who has been publishing under the name Yi-Fen Chou. I’m not here to talk about the poem, or about how (at least) silly the notion of collecting some poems from the previous year and calling them the “best” of anything is.

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Coming in April from The Rumpus Book Clubs

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We’re very excited about our selections for April, and we hope that you will be as well. Maybe so excited that if you aren’t a member yet, you’ll become one. (Also, a book club subscription makes a great gift. Seriously.)

On the fiction side, we’ll be reading Julie Iromuanya’s debut novel Mr.

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Moshfegh

The Rumpus Book Club Chat with Ottessa Moshfegh

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Ottessa Moshfegh talks about her book McGlue, inventing a character from an 1850s newspaper article, and revisiting her work years after she finished writing it. ...more

Up Next in the Rumpus Book Clubs

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There’s still time to get the December selections if you join either (or both!) the Rumpus Book and Poetry Book Clubs. What makes our book clubs special? Well, our first readers have a terrific track record of selecting truly amazing books, and members get books before anyone else does because we only select books that haven’t been released yet.

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The Payton James Freeman Essay Prize

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We at The Rumpus are proud to be a part of this essay contest. Please take a look at the submission requirements (note the lack of an entry fee!) and let us take a look at your work.

The Freeman Family, the Drake University Department of English and The Rumpus invite you to submit outstanding unpublished non-fiction essays of up to 3500 words on the subject “After the Unhappy Ending”.

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The Case for Reparations

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The latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly  just went live, and the feature story by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a monster. It’s about making the moral case for reparations, but it expands the conversation surrounding this topic in two ways. The first way it does this is by pointing out, in vivid detail, the way that the exploitation and mistreatment of blacks in the US is an inextricable part of our history and that it continues to this present day.

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The November Rumpus Book Club Roundup

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Most of the time at the Rumpus Book Clubs we get books 3-4 weeks before everyone else does. It’s one of the best reasons to join, along with the opportunity to chat online with group members and with the author at the end of the month, pick her/his brain about their process, about who they’re reading, about whatever.

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