It’s not that the books that get someone into the “serious reader” club are all or even mostly by men these days. But the books that get you kicked out of the club are almost exclusively written by women.
Hannah Engler writes for Book Riot on “women’s literature” and the still-unevolved stereotype of the Woman Reader....more
BBC One and Netflix are joining forces to produce a four-part miniseries of Watership Down. The new series intends to give the female rabbits a more prevalent role:
On the bright side, Aitken did announce the miniseries’ intent to strengthen the roles of the female rabbits, an element of Adams’ original novel that often garners criticism.
Race was—is—the fundamental American issue, underlying not only all matters of public policy (economic inequality, criminal justice, housing, education) but the very psyche of the nation.
Nathaniel Rich, for the New York Review of Books, writes a loving tribute to and overview of the works of James Baldwin: the intellectual as impossible to be pinned down, writing transcendently about the present....more
At Bitch, Soleil Ho examines the changing interpretations of Kipling’s The Jungle Book, as seen through the novel’s the many film adaptations over the years....more
Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks illustrates what he has learned from famous author’s photos.
Then, in the Saturday Interview with Carol Edelman Warrior, poet and playwright Storme Webber says that “we’re all traveling on this Earth....more
[Memoir] comes alive at the fissures of its coherency: when a narrator is struggling to hold the self together in a text—for the reader’s sake if not also her own.
Scott F. Parker met up with Maggie Nelson at AWP to talk about her writing, her sudden popularity, memoir (or life writing), autotheory, and Buddhism for The Believer’s interview series, Stories of Self—complete with illustrations by Nelson’s partner, Harry Dodge....more
For The Millions, David Busis chats with Curtis Sittenfeld about her recent release Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. In the interview, Sittenfeld discusses the challenges that come up when modernizing older works, and how reality television served as a useful tool in her novel....more
With its trope of the hard-boiled, male detective, noir literature has historically had an inclusion problem. At Electric Literature, Nicholas Seeley discusses its burgeoning revival as protest literature against injustice:
Today it has a second chance—assuming it continues to draw in and cultivate new and challenging voices.
The YA novel The Face on The Milk Carton has marked a thrilling yet disturbing rite of passage for many young readers over the past 25 years, iconic right down to its simple, haunting cover—which many of those readers could easily conjure from memory....more
Jennifer Ouellette reports on recent studies of Wikipedia’s editorial hierarchy. While the site was founded on democratic ideals, the reality has turned into something quite different:
Their analysis demonstrates that Wikipedia is actually quite conservative from an evolutionary standpoint: it preserves those aspects that worked early on.
New motherhood: it’s common but totally strange, completely natural yet weirdly alien, a beautiful miracle and absolutely disgusting. It can also have some strong effects on a woman’s perception of self and identity, as Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat) explores brilliantly in her story “The Doppelgängers,” chosen by Lauren Groff at Recommended Reading this week....more
At Vela Magazine, Amy Bess Cook discusses living with epilepsy, and the problem with considering epilepsy as neurodiversity:
While one of these—grand mal seizures—overlaps with Sylvie’s, our conditions differ. Seizure causes, auras (the body’s precursory warning state), and severity leave room for infinite variety.
Tomorrow, Independent Bookstore Day will mark its second year of celebrating independent bookstores nationwide, with literary parties around the country. In cities and towns throughout the country, participating independent bookstores will host unique literary parties, including readings, raffles, scavenger hunts, story times, music, food trucks, and literary trivia....more
In the New Yorker, Richard Brody laments how little coverage there is of independent film in mainstream media. If film culture is to change for the better, he argues, critics need to step out of their comfort zone and focus less on wide releases:
It’s up to critics and editors to acknowledge what was already clear in 1969—the realm of movies, their substance and their distribution, has changed drastically, and the practice of criticism needs to catch up with it.
It’s hard to imagine a book written entirely in emoji that isn’t just about the conceit of writing an entire book in emoji, perhaps marketed as an Urban Outfitters coffee table book for guests to alternately smirk and groan at. And yet, as many digital natives know, emojis can be used in complicated and highly affective ways....more
It’s that time again! Time to talk about the actual stakes and misunderstandings of the vice-presidency.
Where’s my underwater bridge to Gibraltar?
All the turn of the century tornado pictures you could possibly be hoping for.
I’m sure you’ve been wondering about lizard sleep....more
There was no denying it, Athena was lost. She had walked the road to Deasey Castle for many years, but now, no matter what road she took, the glorious castle spires were no closer.
Escape the never-ending political sideshow for some fun fictional role-playing and follow Athena Kindness, warrior and opportunistic people-pleaser, through selections of her tumultuous journey to the castle on top of the hill, written by Wayne Gladstone over at McSweeney’s....more
I kept Plath’s “Magic Mirror” close by as I wrote my own thesis. This knowledge that someone else—a literary titan who had seen me through my own breakdown—had attempted a similar project, using a proxy form to interrogate a personal psychological past, helped me.
“All plots tend to move deathward,” the narrator of “White Noise” says. “This is the nature of plots. Political plots, terrorist plots, lovers’ plots, narrative plots, plots that are part of children’s games. We edge nearer death every time we plot.
In 2014, archivists discovered previously unpublished poems in the private collections of the late and great Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. These found pieces will be available in English for the first time in Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda, available May 1....more
Hey! We’re white! And we all voted for Obama! Twice! We should do something to help the literary downtrodden.
American literature is already frustrating enough with publishing sorely lacking in diversity. But things can be even worse when the white-dominated industry tries too hard to appeal to writers of color....more
Over at Los Angeles Review of Books, Leah Mirakhor engages poet Robin Coste Lewis, 2015 National Book Award winner of Voyage of the Sable Venus, in deep and generous conversation about writing and life. Coste Lewis remembers Audre Lorde as a poet who “refused to condescend to her readers,” and who was a great inspiration to Coste Lewis’s seventeen-year-old self....more