Posts Tagged: author photo

Elena Ferrante and the Picture on the Back Cover

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Essayist Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s obsession with author photos leads to authorial reflections on gender, representation, and what writers owe the public in “Occupy Author Photo: On Elena Ferrante, Privacy, and Women Writers” at The Millions. Starting with her own experiences and branching out to Mary Oliver, Sarah Howe, and eventually Elena Ferrante, she calls for a rethinking of the author photo and its social implications.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, we close out National Poetry Month with Sophie Klahr breaking down literary conventions in “Slant,” and Sandra Simonds offering two powerful poems about sexuality and shame.

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.

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A Serious Man

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In a recently tweeted series of amateur photos, artist and writer Szilvia Molnar satirizes the figure of the cool male writer so often conveyed in author portraits by the presence of a cigarette. Having noticed a discrepancy between the portrayal of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Zadie Smith in promotional photos for a publishing event, Molnar took it upon herself to reveal the manufactured ridiculousness of the serious cool-guy image with selfies that can’t possibly be taken seriously.

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By Its Cover

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Jennifer Weiner’s recent claim that a serious author photos indicate serious literature is submited to scientifically unsound empirical testing over at Slate. Comparing the head shots of “Women’s Lit” writers to those of “Literary Fiction” best-sellers, Eliza Berman discovers an unexpected trend in the process: the mysterious middle ground of the indecipherable author smirk.

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