Posts by: Liv Lansdale

Profile of “Pangaeic” Writer David Mitchell

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Fans of Cloud Atlas, a sextet of sweeping stylistic range, know well that Granta-recognized author David Mitchell has a knack for mimesis. But they may not know that he is also “uncommonly good at imitating nonhuman noises.” In anticipation of his new “psychovoltaic” novel, The Bone Clocks, Catherine Schultz walks with him through the Irish […]

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“Don’t Go Online” and Other Good Advice for Writers

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Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Sisterland and guest judge of McSweeney’s first-ever student short story contest, told McSweeney’s in an interview that she is looking for fiction with a “pulse,” that engages “in a kind of conversation,” and that serves the writer’s obsessions. She also goes into her own history as a writer, including current projects: […]

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“Let America be America Again”

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In an interview with The New Yorker, Graywolf poet Claudia Rankine discusses Ferguson, James Baldwin, and the experience of invisibility: “[T]he sort of execution-style shooting takes [Michael Brown’s shooting] to this whole other place that starts approaching the language of lynching, and public lynching, and bodies in the street that people are walking around.” To […]

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The Little [Terrifying] Prince

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The latest installment of The Toast’s delicious “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, we are gleeful to report, takes on Le Petit Prince. Featuring quotes like “I drew him my hunger and my thirst. It had long teeth, and a long throat” and “It is such a secret place, the land of tears,” Mallory Ortberg perverts […]

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In Cahoots

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Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. Sherwood Anderson and William and Faulkner. Henry James and Edith Warton. And now, X… and you! The Association of Writers & Writing Programs just announced the establishment of a mentorship program starting in September. As stated on their community page, they are giving special consideration to applicants of backgrounds “typically […]

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Complementary Coverage

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If asked who reviewed Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Patti Smith might not be your first guess. But review it she did—skillfully, favorably, and, to no surprise, colorfully. Of the main character, she writes that his “unfathomable anguish seems to […]

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Spellbound

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Unaccustomed, vicious, onomatopoeia… We all have that one word we can never spell correctly. Paris Review blogger Sadie Stein’s was “Wednesday.” “It’s like a mental block,” she writes, “or maybe, an increased reliance on technology.” Read the rest of the mini-essay here.

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When in Rome

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Dig historical fiction? In the forthcoming issue of The New York Review of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn revisits Augustus, the last novel written by John Williams, author of the literary cult favorite, Stoner.  “Like the best works of historical fiction about the classical world,” Mendelsohn writes, “Augustus suggests the past without presuming to create it.”  Originally published […]

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Never Left Behind

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In an interview with Daniel Olivas for the Los Angeles Review of Books, debut novelist Natalia Sylvester talks about growing up in Peru, learning characters’ secrets, and what happens when you set aside a story for nearly six years. “Our pasts are never left behind,” she concludes ominously. Chasing the Sun has just been released […]

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Does Poetry Matter?

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Yesterday’s New York Times posed this question to poetry superstars Tracy K. Smith, Martin Espada, William Logan, Paul Muldoon, Sandra Beasley, Patrick Rosal, and our own David Biespiel. Whether by “educat[ing] the senses,” combatting irony, or “ritualiz[ing] human life,” suffice it to say, the answer is Yes.

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