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This Week in Indie Bookstores

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Memphis-area Burke’s Book Store celebrated its 140th year of selling books. The current owners plan to use the milestone reintroduce the store, and that includes investing in a custom bicycle to make book deliveries.

Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi started because owners Richard and Lisa Howorth believed William Faulkner’s town should have a bookstore.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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The last few weeks have been all about celebrating female masters of the short story. Earlier this month, we saw collections by Clarice Lispector and Shirley Jackson making waves in the literary swimming pool, and this week Lucia Berlin enters with a cannon ball.

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Hugo and the Sad Puppies

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The Hugo Award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon science fiction, a genre which is (finally) broadening to include a diversity of authors and views. That’s not a good thing, according to many white male writers and fans, who have banded together as the “Sad Puppies” to fight against what they see as affirmative action for women and writers of color who are dominating the nominations for the Hugos.

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Belize’s Art Revolution

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At Electric Literature, Monica Byrne discusses the ongoing art revolution in Belize, and how artists create works that represent a diverse and beautiful country dealing with the trauma of postcolonialism:

If an artist isn’t interested in protest per se, how does one articulate a visual language of pleasure that is truly their own, and not that of the colonizers?  

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You Are Not Like Other Children

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You are not like the other children. You can’t get into the same juvenile mischief your white friends get into. You represent something more than yourself and your family when you are outside this house. You will have to be twice as good as other people to be as successful as them.

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Sneaking into Book Clubs in High-End Neighborhoods

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Is it bad that I joined a book club to weasel my way into the fancy homes on the other side of my cul-de-sac? With no intention of reading the books?

At the Huffington Post, Jennifer Boyd-Einstein and Paula Mangin tell the story of joining a book club in a neighborhood that (technically) wasn’t their own and their “oddly addicting” curiosities about the houses’ décor.

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Deep Pain and Deep Beauty

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Deep pain and deep beauty oscillate throughout Sagawa’s work, often triggered in the same image. “Insects pierce green through the orchard,” she writes in “Like a Cloud.” “The sky has countless scars. The skin of the earth emerges there, burning like a cloud.”

For the New Yorker, Adrienne Raphel details the renewed interest in Sagawa Chika, one of the most unique yet seldom-read poets in early-20th-century Japan, and her influence on modernist aesthetics of Japanese poetry.

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