Posts Tagged: american literature

American Lit’s Reclusive Editor

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Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes […]

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The Popular Vote

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The Library of Congress recently polled American citizens to find out what books had the most profound effect on them. Among the 17,000-plus survey respondents, popular answers were books like Frank Herbert’s Dune, Stephen King’s The Stand, and The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. While some literary greats like Toni Morrison did not appear on […]

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American Writers on Donald Trump

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American writers have issued a statement on Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. They are asking writers across the country to sign a petition signifying their agreement with the statement, which begins: Because, as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name […]

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The Great American Sermon

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After all, the essay, in its American incarnation, is a direct outgrowth of the sermon: argumentative, insistent, not infrequently irritating. Minimalist prose. Maximalist ideas. A long tradition of anti-intellectualism. Adverbs. At the New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham asks what makes an essay American?

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America’s “Narrow” Reading Habits

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At Electric Literature, Joshua Lockwood interviews PANK‘s founding editor M. Bartley Seigel about the origins of PANK, which was sold in November and will be under new management by the end of the year. In addition, Seigel discusses what his experience as an editor taught him about American literature: American literature is robust, vibrant, and very much kicking and screaming. Reading and […]

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Vehicles of Literary Inspiration

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For the past century American writers and artists have been obsessed with that shimmering, sexy, liberating, lethal contraption known as the automobile…Is there a more potent metaphor for American restlessness, for the American hunger for status and sex, for the American tendency to wind up, broken and bloody, in a ditch? Driving a huge metal […]

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Mapping Literary Road Trips

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What is more American than the road trip? Steven Melendez has created an astonishingly detailed interactive map of the beloved institution as documented in twelve works of American literature. The books featured include Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Mark Twain’s Roughing It, John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Acid […]

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A Literature Divided

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Over at Lit Hub, Calvin Baker laments the segregated state of American literature in the 21st century—a result, he says, of literary institutions’ conformity to the status quo: The status quo imagines itself humanist and enlightened, but is anchored by fear and conformity. An interlocking system of publishing conglomerates, universities and media that have been […]

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British Insecurity

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Among those who bemoaned the change of rules were a number of British novelists. Why did they assume their American counterparts were better? Or if they thought Americans were just different, why did they assume judges would prefer the game the Americans were playing? This year marks the first time that any book written in […]

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Remembering the Blue and the Gray

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Memorial Day is a time of both national reflection and diverse local tradition. In a piece connecting poetry and community storytelling, The Atlantic offers some literary history in observance of this past weekend’s holiday. Two years after the end of the Civil War, the magazine published Francis Miles Finch’s conciliatory poem, “The Blue and The Gray.” […]

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