Other

Imagining the Past

By

Over at the New Yorker, Lucy Ives writes about how some recent works of fiction challenge conventional definitions of historical fiction by “offer[ing] a past of competing perspectives, of multiple voices.” Citing works by Danielle Dutton, Marlon James, and John Keene, Ives notes:

These fictions do not focus on fact but on fact’s record, the media by which we have any historical knowledge at all.

...more

Ricochet Calls for Graphic Submissions

By

Ricochet Editions is looking for your comics!

The small press, run by PhD students in the Literature & Creative Writing Program at USC, is accepting submission for graphic novellas and short story collections until June 1st. All manuscripts should be 50-100 pages, and should be submitted in the form of a black and white paginated PDF.

...more

This Week in Indie Bookstores

By

A bookstore designed to feel like a spaceship has opened in Hangzhou, China.

Romance-novel bookstore Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles has gotten a little funnier by adding live comedy shows.

Author Judy Blume has found a new career as a bookseller.

...more

Poet Tripping

By

Carol Ann Duffy, the UK’s poet laureate, has invited three poets to join her on a road trip through England, Wales and Scotland, which will take them from Falmouth to St Andrews over the course of a fortnight.

From June 19 to July 2, Gillian Clarke, the outgoing national poet of Wales, the makar (the national poet of Scotland) Jackie Kay, and Imtiaz Dharker, winner of the Queen’s gold medal for poetry, will be driving with Carol Ann Duffy through Great Britain on the “Shore to Shore” poets tour, to bring their words throughout the country.

...more

Figuring It Out En Route

By

Growing up does not mean we stop reading Marxist critiques or hating ourselves or feeling the grotesque contrasts writ large on every page of our petty lives.

At the Paris Review blog, Sadie Stein offers a hilarious peek into her thoughts during a flight to San Diego, addressed to the teenage boy she sat next to who was reading Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason.

...more

Lessons from Frog and Toad

By

At the AtlanticBert Clere reflects on Arnold Lobel’s children’s books, Frog and Toad and Owl at Home, the lessons these stories try to teach, and the representation of the self in each of them:

Although Frog and Toad’s world is perhaps more pastoral than that of their average reader, most can recognize and relate to the situations the duo find themselves in.

...more

Tennis as Art Form

By

Understanding tennis as aesthetic phenomenon involves returning to that word Wallace insists on using in his discussion of Federer: beauty.

At Guernica, Greg Chase discusses the new collection of David Foster Wallace’s essays on tennis, String Theory, in which tennis is investigated as an art form in light of Kant’s aesthetic philosophy on words like “beauty” and “genius.”

...more

Naturally Emily Dickinson

By

I became tantalized by the idea of a genius poet whose talent was nourished not by extensive travel, nor by formal literary training, but rather by an intimacy with the kinds of creatures Americans routinely encounter and rarely appreciate.

For Slate, Ferris Jabr dives deep into the imagery of Emily Dickinson’s poetry to find new appreciation for the level of detail Dickinson’s knowledge of nature lent to her work.

...more

On the Auction Table

By

The supposedly lost letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac that inspired Kerouac’s novel, On the Road, was found in 2014. Now, the letter is being auctioned off:

The 16,000-word typed letter, which carries an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000, had been considered lost before it surfaced in the discarded files of Golden Goose Press, a now-defunct small San Francisco publisher, and listed for sale by a Southern California auction house in 2014.

...more

Is This Water?

By

Graduation season is upon us again, and with it comes the vacant, cliché-ridden literary animal that is the graduation speech. Over at Lit Hub, Emily Harnett revisits David Foster Wallace’s famous Kenyon graduation speech, “This Is Water,” and marvels at the insidiousness of the speech’s logic and message:

Tell your audiences that they’re too smart to want a certain thing and give it to them anyway.

...more

This Week in Short Fiction

By

This was the trouble with bringing a gun to work: you couldn’t stop thinking about it.

This understatement comes from “Rutting Season,” a story by Mandeliene Smith in this week’s new issue of Guernica that flirts with every office worker’s worst nightmare—or secret fantasy—while exploring the divide between the public persona and the private self.

...more

Growing Up with ADHD

By

Despite the narrative that we are over-diagnosing ADHD in children, symptoms of ADHD often go unrecognized in girls. At the Toast, Grace Lidinsky-Smith discusses navigating grade school with undiagnosed ADHD, her experiences with feelings of shame, and the impact of finally receiving treatment:

I wanted to write this for my younger self, and for all girls who keep silent and try to be obedient despite the ruckus in their skulls.

...more