Posts by: Dawn Pier
In November, we posted a link to a story about To Kill a Mockingbird’s Harper Lee suing her hometown museum.
But it turns out the aging author has an even bigger fish to fry in the courtroom: her literary agent who “duped” her into signing over the copyright to her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel....more
The Atlantic gave the Rumpus’s own Sari Botton, Melissa Febos, Mira Ptacin, and Cheryl Strayed a chance to delve deeper into their contributions to the anthology “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.”
In a roundtable discussion with Marie-Helene Westgate, they discuss what it’s like to leave a city that, as Westgate puts it, “is a human entity unto itself: one capable of offering earth-shattering sex, endlessly stimulating conversation, and eventual transcendence, too.”
Hear their takes on questions like: “Is there a sense that leaving New York…constitutes a failure of character?” and more—and be sure to check out our two excerpted chapters from the book, one by Elisa Albert and one by Melissa Febos, right here on the Rumpus....more
For Slate, Amanda Hess examines yet another first-person confessional: sexual assault victim Jenny Kutner’s essay “The Other Side of the Story,” published in Texas Monthly.
The power of Kutner’s story is that it lends insight into a particular type of victimization—the kind that happens when the victim doesn’t see herself as one.
In the New Yorker, Lee Siegel sheds light on the oft-seen contradiction between artists and their art in her review of Deborah Solomon’s biography “American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell.”
In contrast to his idealized paintings of happy hetero Americans, Rockwell is described as a depressed, compulsively obsessive, and “a repressed homosexual.”
You might call this condition of artistic creation the law of opposites, which can be a displacement of identity, as in the case of the gay composers and actors of yesteryear, or a transmutation of identity.
Check out Joseph Entin’s even-handed review of James Franco’s movie adaptation of “As I Lay Dying” at LARB.
Franco has tackled the über-challenging multi-perspective modernist piece where others demurred, and has come away with something worthy of examination, particularly by those already familiar with the original literary work....more
We didn’t know there was one until Slate‘s Matthew Malady pointed out the limitations of English punctuation.
Look, I’m the last one to encourage the excessive use of exclamation points. But if we are going to use them—and they do come in handy from time to time—we should at least do so in a way that makes good sense.
Over at WNPR this week Maureen Corrigan offers up a “Literary Escape Plan” from holiday stress.
The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as “the People of the Book” and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.
The LA Times reported this week that sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala, has been banned from over 40,000 schools in her native country of Pakistan.
The book (co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb) describes Malala’s transformation into a vocal advocate for girl’s education rights while living under Taliban rule and the attempt by a member of the that organization to assassinate her....more
In the New Yorker, Ben Tarnoff reviews Volume II of the Autobiography of Mark Twain.
Notorious for his ability to talk a blue streak, Twain dictated the entire three-volume tome of over 5000 typewritten pages while lying in bed awaiting, it would seem, his own demise....more
A meteor killing off the dinosaurs was obviously a cop out because the author didn’t know where to take the story.
This was just one of several responses on Reddit’s thread “Assume all of world history is a movie. What are the biggest plot holes?” that are good for a few chuckles....more
At the Los Angeles Review of Books this week, Stephen Burt reviews the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics and discusses how poetry allows us, reader and author alike, to inhabit a body or being better or very different from the one we were born in....more
Melissa Petro, whose Rumpus essay “Not Safe For Work” contributed to getting her fired from a teaching job, writes in this month’s The New Inquiry about what she calls “The Writing Cure”—how writing about traumatic or damning life events offers a cure for often denied or disassociated feelings of victimization and shame....more
“Discobiography” might sound like the title of a cheesy 70s memoir, but according to Erich Kuersten it’s the perfect name for the genre in which Lou Reed’s Great American Novel resides....more
Most authors know that revealing intimate autobiographical secrets in our work can have a polarizing effect on our lives – old relationships are transformed or shattered, new ones born through the inevitable connections created.
In OUT, Alysia Abbot describes how publication of her memoir, Fairyland, about being raised by her gay father, opened a Pandora’s box of new information about both her parents....more
Earlier this year, the Rumpus’s own Sari Botton described the burden of living with our reproductive choices in Confessions of a Good Girl.
But what of the men in all this reproductive choice-making? Currently they have little say regarding their responsibility for child support once their sexual partner makes her choice to continue with the pregnancy....more