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Sunday Links

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Brooklyn Magazine’s Favorite Writers Share Their Favorite Childhood Books.

One novel I loved when I was a kid was Madam Pastry and Meow. The details are fuzzy for me now, but I recall this: A schoolgirl in Paris meets a young artist, the type who lives in a garret and spends his food money on paint. The two are in cahoots regarding the care of an injured cat.

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Notable NYC: 12/20–12/26

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Saturday 12/20: Adam Gopnik, Mike Albo, Jami Attenberg, Charles Bock, Alexander Chee, Scott Cheshire, Ashley Ford, Lev Grossman, Rahawa Haile, Jazmine Hughes, Leslie Jamison, Bennett Madison, Ayana Mathis, Eileen Myles, Rosie Schaap, Elissa Schappell, Parul Sehgal, Rob Spillman, Emma Straub, J.

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Dear Diary

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…while autobiography and memoir have gained ground as legitimate and canonical literary modes, the diary retains an association with inappropriate, overly personal, or pejoratively “private” discourse.

At Huffington Post, Kylie Cardell examines the diary’s transition into public art form, from tabloid scoops and confessional blogs to contemporary figures who publish their own diaries, and our cultural obsession with the intimate form.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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With the Senate Intelligence Committee’s online release of their Torture Report summary and Melville House’s announcement last week that it will publish a bound copy of the summary report at the end of this year, torture has been in the air.

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Not-So-Young Adults

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Good news! Early reports show that book sales are up 4.9 percent in 2014. Who can we thank for this Christmas miracle? Adults who read e-book versions of YA novels, that’s who. Sales are up by a dramatic 53 percent in YA/Children’s e-books, while sales in Adult Fiction/Nonfiction are down 3.3 percent—maybe because all the adults are reading The Hunger Games on their Kindles instead.

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Blake’s Book of Job

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In addition to his place in the canon as a seminal Romantic poet, William Blake was an accomplished visual artist. In a write-up for Hyperallergic, Allison Meier shares the fruits of her visit to see Blake’s 21-panel series of engravings on the Book of Job, on display at Manhattan’s Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) through January 11th.

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The Essay Makes a Comeback

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2014 has already been called “The Year of the Debut” as a way of recognizing all the amazing debut novels published over the last twelve months. Now Jason Diamond is calling 2014 “The Year of the Essay,” pointing out the growing popularity in the non-fiction form and telling us why he values it so much:

Reading fiction is one of my true loves, but essays help me to understand things about the world, the writer, and if they’re really great, myself.

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Behind the Scenes with Beckett

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In a piece for the Times’s Sunday Book Review, Paul Muldoon leads a fascinating and warm-hearted expedition through the letters and poems of Samuel Beckett, new volumes of which will become available in the coming months. One could argue that Muldoon is prone to hyperbole, at times; he casually describes Krapp’s Last Tape as “the single greatest evocation of loss and longing of the 20th century” and declares that “to describe [Beckett’s] line breaks as arbitrary would be a kindness.” On the whole, though, Muldoon inspires confidence through his insightful readings and engaging prose, giving readers a captivating window into Beckett’s writing life, and the collaborative relationships that brought his plays and radio dramas to the world.

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Notable San Francisco: 12/17–12/23

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Wednesday 12/17: Fourteen Hills launches issue 21.1 with readings by contributors Chris Ames, Matthew Clark Davison, Arthur Isaac Hofmayer, Ashley K. Nelson, Jahla Seppanen, and Matthew Zapruder (Free, 7 p.m., Viracocha).

The Kinda Late Show w/Broke-Ass Stuart returns with a second episode, featuring Veronica Belmont, Gabi Moskowitz, and Josh Constine, with music by Double Duchess and MegaFlame Presents Big Band and Cabaret ($12-15, 8 p.m., Doc’s Lab).

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