Posts by: Charley Locke

Come Hear Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life

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You’re in San Francisco, no? And you like stories? Very brief ones? About Jewish life? Told live? Who doesn’t?

Regardless of your answers to those questions, come to the SMITH Live Story Show on Thursday, July 12th! Here’s the deal: kind of like The Moth and Porchlight, the storytellers (including SF Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik and Literary Death Match host Alia Volz) will reveal a six-word memoir on Jewish life and then tell you a six-minute backstory.

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“The Profundity of Female Friendships”

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At The New Yorker, Anna Holmes writes about how “Girls” and Sheila Heti’s new novel How Should a Person Be? “treat heterosexual coupling as secondary, and how they depict the profundity of female friendships, not to mention their real perils—which are quite different from the competitive jockeying that is so often imagined.”

Holmes proposes that these texts may signify “the beginnings, perhaps, of a revolution in the way women’s relationships are discussed.”

Read Emily Rapp’s wonderful essay on the power of female friendship here.

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Multicolored The Sound and the Fury Finally Published

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When William Faulkner originally published The Sound and the Fury, he wished Benjy’s narrative could be printed in different colors to denote different time periods, lamenting that “I’ll just have to save the idea until publishing grows up.”

Now it has: The Folio Society is publishing an edition of the novel colored as Faulkner envisioned it.

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Support Publication of Young Authors: CanTeens Kickstarter

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CanTeens, a literary and arts magazine, gives Harlem seventh graders an opportunity to discover and foster a love of reading, writing, and art through classes and a chance to see their name and writing in print.

Unfortunately, CanTeens doesn’t have the funds to publish this year’s anthology without some help. So please, help!  Whatever you can give to their Kickstarter project makes a difference in making sure these young authors get a chance to keep writing.

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The End of the World, and of Sixth Grade

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On Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan reviews The Age of Miracles, a new novel by Karen Thompson Walker about “the slowing” of the world, told by an eleven year old girl, Julia.

“Sure, the natural world may be melting, but every bit as inexplicable and terrifying is the scene where Julia’s longtime best girlfriend turns into a popular pod person and freezes her out at recess one day.”

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“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

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Ella Taylor reviews Beasts of the Southern Wild, a film which “racked up a total of four major awards and a storm of press attention” at Sundance and Cannes. It focuses on “Hushpuppy, a motherless bayou waif living on the edge of multiple disasters” in ”the Bathtub, a fictional wasteland on the wrong side of the tracks and the levee.”

“Zeitlin, a transplanted New Yorker and the son of two folklorists, wants us to experience Beasts as a fairy tale in a tradition reaching back to Grimm by way of Maurice Sendak.

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“Heck yes I’m willing to do this, I love peanut butter!”

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Have you been searching for a collection of peanut-butter related news to no avail? Look no further:

There’s a peanut-butter craving thief on the prowl in Ohio, who comes into a gas station most evenings after midnight and “snatches Reese’s peanut butter cups.” Last Tuesday, he upped his game, grabbing his usual sweets and then heading for “a saltier snack, grabbing a bag of chips” on his way out.

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Making Sense of the “Floating Cultural Stew”

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Over at the L.A. Times, David Ulin argues that the art of the contemporary essay is “in a renaissance.”

He praises the recent essay collections of Tom Bissell and Mark Dery, adding them to the ranks of books like Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence, Geoff Dyer’s Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, Dubravka Ugresic’s Karaoke Culture, Jonathan Franzen’s Farther Away, and John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead, all of which walk “an exhilarating tightrope between the personal and the critical, their most fundamental inquiries those the authors make about themselves.”

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Chuck Palahniuk’s “victims of his gore-filled prose”

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On June 11, Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke, published Invisible Monsters Remix, a director’s cut of the novel in which “the reader is made to jump back and forth to different chapters rather than read in a linear way,” which “constantly reminds people that it’s a physical book,” as “it’s a story that only a paper book can pull off.”

In this interview, he talks about how he seeks a physical response to his fiction, and usually succeeds, as he “keeps “an assiduous count of his ‘fainters’” at readings, where “foyers have been filled with stretchers carrying victims of his gore-filled prose.”

“There is a lot of laughter in most of my stories that make people faint.

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The Latest Diary of Adrian Mole, Coming of (Middle) Age

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Adrian Mole, protagonist of the coming-of-age novels The Adrian Mole Diaries, faces adult problems in Sue Townsend’s latest book, the 10th in the series.

“Having had his first incarnation aged 13 ¾, when spots, poetry and his parents’ behavior were among his chief concerns, he is now 45 and addressing the challenges of declining incomes and village life.”

Read more here.

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E-Books: “the book-cover equivalent of burqas”

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In the Chicago Tribune, Christopher Borrelli bemoans the rise of e-books for taking away “the genuine soul” that “the randomness and variety and art work of a tangible book being cradled by a commuter” lends to the city.

Plus, it seriously hinders his ability to “eavesdrop on what you’re reading.”

Check out the article and the cool reader map of the Chicago L here.

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Musical Effects

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At The Chronicle, Mark Edmundson, English professor at University of Virginia, explains the emotional importance of pop music, as it “suggests, by its easy, pleasurable repetitions,” that our “static inside” makes sense, as “we can pretend, for the duration of a song, that there is harmony in our lives.”

“The sadness in a Leonard Cohen song or the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’ was different from the sadness that inhabited my spirit.

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Existential Ménage-à-Trois

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Andy Martin, author of The Boxer and the Goalkeeper, writes about the woman called Wanda who ended the “bromance” between Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus.

“Camus was the new kid on the block, confronted by the great metropolitan circle of critics and publishers and philosophers around Sartre – and yet he could score over the master with his ice-green eyes and don’t-give-a-damn charm.

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