You read that your sister's body—a towel still knotted around her neck— was found dressed in a nightie, panties, and one slipper. You are wearing a nightie, panties, and slippers as you read it. The words safe and trusting pop into your head....more
The image that comes to my mind is a foot hovering above a stair. Marriage is the fabled next step, but engagement implies a kind of limbo, an almost-not-quite-there yet—the zero that comes before the one....more
Prolific writer and Director of the FIU Creative Writing Program Les Standiford takes a look back at his career in books, including Water to the Angels and Bringing Adam Home, and tells us what's next. ...more
Artist and author Phoebe Gloeckner talks about her semi-autobiographical novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl, just adapted into a film starring Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard, and what she's working on now. ...more
I was uneasy with my incapacitation, but I couldn’t articulate how frustrated I felt. I didn’t understand how to translate that mixture of pride in his genius and jealousy that I wasn’t writing too....more
Tony Hoagland discusses his latest collection, Application for Release from the Dream, the value of poetry, why he doesn't fear becoming overconfident, and the definition of American spirituality. ...more
Writer and former US Army infantryman Colin D. Halloran on his new collection, Icarian Flux, how he used experimental narrative to explore his life with PTSD, and why he doesn't want to be known only as a "war poet." ...more
If you want to know what the effect that book has had on me, that’s the effect. I don’t care if you think I’m an angry black woman. I don’t care if you think I’m making you feel uncomfortable. I feel better. And that is important to me.
Authors United, a trade guild representing 500 authors, submitted a formal request to the Department of Justice seeking an investigation into Amazon, accusing the online retailer of violating antitrust laws. The guild alleges Amazon is a monopoly responsible for price fixing. However, that might not be enough to prosecute Amazon, as Fortune points out:
But the more important point is that simply having a monopoly (in the sense of having a dominant share of a discrete market) isn’t a breach of U.S. antitrust law, although most people seem to believe that it is—or that it should be. What’s illegal is using that monopoly to stifle competition. And not just to stifle competition, but to do so in a way that makes things worse for consumers.
We have a new Monthly Book Report coming out on Monday! If you haven’t already subscribed, today is the day. You don’t want to miss our roundup of the stellar fiction, nonfiction, and poetry reviews that went up on the site this past month—plus, we throw in a Rumpus Original Fiction story for good measure. Sign up now!
British designer Jez Burrows was looking up a word in the New Oxford American Dictionary and was struck by how literary the example sentences for word definitions were. So he created a new Tumblr called Dictionary Stories, where he posts very short stories made up only of those sentences:
He perched on the edge of the bed, a study in confusion and misery, a study of a man devoured by awareness of his own mediocrity. The place was dreadfully untidy. Tattered notebooks filled with illegible hieroglyphics, the evolution of animal life, the mysteries of analytical psychology, victorian architecture… The street lamps shed a faint light into the room. It was beginning to rain.
Newspapers might be threatened by e-readers, technology may have supplanted books, and recipes can be found online in abundance. But scripts? Scripts are necessary. Scripts are tangible. They bow before no millennial’s avowedly shortened attention span.
The Paris Review argues that while everything else goes digital, scripts will always be in print.
Editing. It’s the most reviled step of the writing process. It’s where we do the backbreaking work of word-weeding, where we must dissociate from ourselves enough to see our work objectively, where we’re forced to kill our darlings. It’s the dark place between writing and publication, mostly characterized by bloodshot eyes and crippling doubt. It’s where stories go to die. It’s also what makes “The Humble Simple Thing,” a collaboration between Sheila Heti and artist Sara Lautman at Recommended Reading, so remarkable.
“The Humble Simple Thing” is a “cut-up”: a short story whittled down to its essence and accompanied by drawings that don’t merely illustrate it, but inform it. (more…)
Yuknavitch’s sex scenes are remarkable among current American novelists, not just for their explicitness but for the way she uses them to pursue questions of agency, selfhood, and the ethical implications of making art.
Curbside Splendor editor-in-chief Naomi Huffman moderates a conversation between Jessica Hopper (The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic) and Suzanne Scanlon (Her 37th Year: An Index). Women & Children First, 7:30 p.m.
Sex becomes pornographic when we detach it from its living, breathing context…He only sees those brief images as pornographic because he refuses to consider the fuller experience of LGBTQ existence that Bechdel maps in Fun Home. In effect, Grasso reduces homosexuality to a few sex acts, and then declares that showing those sex acts is unacceptable.
You could visit India and never hear the name Rabindranath Tagore. In fact, if you don’t live in India, you may well have never known Rabindranath Tagore existed. But this was not always the case: recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947, Rabindranath Tagore became one of the major influences in the formation of the India we know today. All the while, he wasn’t identified as a politician, social leader, or revolutionary: he was a poet. Or, as his contemporary Gandhi noted, The Poet.
Aimed towards parents desperate to get their children to sleep, a book that claims to induce “gentle hypnosis” is topping the charts at Amazon. Written by a Swedish psychologist, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep encourages children to yawn along with the story. However, there is a disclaimer by the publisher:
Even if this book is harmless to use, the author and the publisher takes no responsibility for the outcome.