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Just Kidding

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Heads up, Harry Potter fans: the staff over at VICE confirm that J.K. Rowling will be coming out with three more short stories about Hogwarts. The stories will provide background to some of the secondary characters in the Harry Potter series:

Power, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists centers on Voldemort’s ties with Professor Horace Slughorn at Hogwarts; Heroism, Hardship, and Dangerous Hobbies offers a look into Professor McGonagall’s roots; and Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide provides readers with everything they ever wanted to know about Harry’s prestigious wizarding school.

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To Speak Unsatisfactorily

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To memorialize a tragedy, one must inscribe unmistakable significance into reticent materials, attempting to curb the natural processes of forgetting and obsolescence.

For The Nation, Becca Rothfeld writes about W.G. Sebald, author of The Emigrants, among others, and his obsession with artistic expression as the aestheticization of truth, almost necessarily a “mangling,” when the goal is to memorialize or find deeper truth in the wake of tragedy and violence.

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Save Langston Hughes’s Harlem Home

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Award-winning author Renée Watson is fighting to save the house that Langston Hughes lived in through much of the 1950s and 60s, until his death in 1967, Heather Long reports for CNN. Watson launched an Indiegogo campaign to rescue the brownstone and preserve its literary history—donate here today to make sure we don’t lose this important piece of American poetry’s past.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Interview, Penny Perkins speaks with Ramona Ausubel about Ausubel’s latest novel, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, her previous collections, and “the ways that stories change the real chemistry of the world.”

Then, Jeff Lennon reviews Cynthia Cruz’s “swirling” fourth poetry collection, How The End Begins.

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Keep Minor Characters Minor

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At the Guardian, Charlotte Jones takes issue with the recently announced Pride and Prejudice sequel fleshing out the life of Mary Bennett—a character whose neglect is central to Austin’s plot:

The singularity of Elizabeth Bennett, after all – the reason she so often features in lists of our favourite literary characters – relies solely upon the relief cast by her dull sisters.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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When The Bennington Review re-launched this past April after thirty years, its first issue packed a table of contents studded with prize-winning authors and exciting emerging voices. This week, to our good fortune, the biannual print publication has made several of its pieces available online, among them new short fiction from Iranian-American writer Porochista Khakpour, author of the acclaimed novels The Last Illusion and Sons and Other Flammable Objects.

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By the People, for the People

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At Guernica, Tana Wojcznick unpacks Shakespeare’s lesser-known and often-misread play, Coriolanus, to bring us s its timely political warning about populism and democracy:

It’s no accident that Coriolanus is not a favorite in America, where it’s rarely included in the mini-canon of plays each generation tends to play and re-play (such as King Lear today or Romeo and Juliet in the 1990’s).

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