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 off; his forthcoming memoir; and why editors should lay low and let authors have the spotlight....more
Posts Tagged: american literature
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 of power;
And goes on to address many concerns Americans share about a potential Trump presidency....more
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?...more
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.
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?
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 Test....more
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?
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.” Finch, a northerner, was inspired to write the piece by four women in Columbus, Mississippi, who decorated the graves of deceased Confederates and Union soldiers alike in a gesture of nonpartisan respect....more