But actually, part of what I think Lipsky wanted was to have a good, long, conversation, one of those talks that lift you out of your regular life and into another mode of being, the way a really good book can.
Posts Tagged: Electric Literature
For Electric Literature, Emma Adler interviews Kathleen Alcott about her new novel Infinite Home. Their conversation covers topics surrounding non-biological family structures, and the importance of setting in Alcott’s work:
I have a memory that is very much image-based. Maybe this makes me sound like a lunatic, but I sort of consider it a secret power, that I can be in line at the deli and suddenly be very much confronted by a very clear image of a place I was once, can conjure the texture of the t-shirts people I loved wore, the color of the kitchen tile, the particular type of tree… I tend to attach to these sort of environmental details, and so sitting down and writing a fictional place, I’m “seeing” in the same way.
For Electric Literature, Ryan Britt interviews Cuban sci-fi novelist Yoss. Their discussion covers the influence of heavy metal on Yoss’s fiction, as well as how science fiction can work as “code” for contemporary social issues:
In Cuba, on the other hand, it is normal that if one deals directly with the most critical points of the “real world,” the official response will be, in fact, intolerant: If one does not draw an optimistic panorama, one will be accused of being a defeatist, of siding with the enemy, etc.
For Electric Literature, Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon recounts his unexpected turn to literature after returning to Guatemala in his early thirties, the paranoia and danger that accompanies being a writer amidst corruption, and leaving the country again after publishing his first novel:
I stumbled onto books, and then fell into writing.
There are countless metaphors for love: a rose, a flame, a garden, a loaded gun, a battlefield. We’ve heard them all—or so we thought. This week at Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Joyland editor Lisa Locascio recommended Amelia Gray’s story, “The Swan as Metaphor for Love.” The title sounds lovely, evoking peaceful lakes and graceful swan necks bent toward each other, beaks kissing, to form the shape of a heart....more
It’s hard to read The Sunlit Night without feeling as though you’re enveloped in warmth, swathed by the author’s lyricism and imagery. The sensation is one unique to Dinerstein’s hand—and perfectly matched for the sun-soaked Nordic tale of lives intersecting at the top of the world.
For Electric Literature, Adalena Kavanagh has a conversation with poet Elisa Gabbert on Google Chat about how to advise white male writers to publish ethically. Their conversation also explores topics related to power structures in the publishing industry, and the implications of white authors writing from the perspective of a different race:
There is a long tradition of male novelists writing female characters, and that doesn’t feel *necessarily* problematic to me.
Over at Electric Literature, Steve Paulson interviews legendary literary critic James Wood, who comments on a variety of subjects: what makes a good critic; the plight of reading widely in our contemporary age; literature as analogous to religion; genre fiction; his friendship with the aging Saul Bellow....more
Many of us remember the glory days of Blockbuster, and its gradual fall. Many of us also question the fate of bookstores at the hands of technology. At Electric Literature, Jeremy Hawkins argues that bookstores will not suffer the same fate as video stores—in fact, he says, indie bookstores are doing better than ever....more
Fiction written under an authoritarian or totalitarian government often dares readers to view the work as a critique of that society.
In a review of two science fiction works by Cuban authors, Electric Literature takes a look at the surprising connection between oppressive political ideologies and fantastical worlds in fiction....more
Recently, Tara Shultz, a college student at Crafton Hills College, expressed her shock and disgust at the “pornographic and violent” content in the selection of graphic novels (Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi) used in her English class and called upon the university to excise the texts from the curriculum....more
When the VIDA counts come out and multiple publications are shown to publish far more men than women (with the numbers for POC writers looking even worse), editors make excuses about their submission pools – they get far more submissions and pitches from men than women.
Miss Marple’s strength as a mystery novel heroin was inseparable from her character: that of a nosy, small town spinster. Far from taking those identity markers as pejorative, Alice Bolin has written a stirring defense of Miss Marple (and her creator, Agatha Christie) as a champion of a particularly feminine brand of sleuthing: one that requires intimate knowledge of relationships and the domestic habits of her British village....more
You can count on One Story as a sort of literary sieve, distilling story-sized servings of up-and-coming writers we should know, and soon enough will know, if we don’t know them already. Next week, One Story will host its annual Literary Debutante Ball, a party thrown in honor of those who’ve published stories with them and whose first books were born this year....more
Reading Literary Twitter is to witness brief, terse glimpses into the writerly psyche, and how insecure and unsure and thin-skinned we tend to be. As writers, we want to be validated. We want to matter. The published stories and poems and essays, the books we sell, the magazines we edit: all this output, this paper expelled out to the world, the screens we invade with our narratives, it all matters to us.
Earlier this month, Steven Millhauser released Voices in the Night, a new collection of short stories. On Tuesday, the Boston Globe described the towns of many of the stories in this newest effort as “Millhauserian,” which Eugenia Williamson defines as places where “characters must process their encounters with the uncanny without breaking their rose-colored glasses.”
Such is the case in Millhauser’s “Sons and Mothers,” which first appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Tin House....more
If anything, other people’s success should only encourage me: if they did it, so can I. But that’s where the self-doubt steps in and says, They can do it BUT YOU NEVER WILL BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A REAL WRITER. It’s the same voice that tells me submitting to writing contests is a waste of money.
No, I’m thinking of mythology, that America of Madison Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, the Alamo and Antietam. In this spiritual landscape, Indiana isn’t misunderstood. It’s ignored.
Over at Electric Literature, Adam Fleming Patty looks for some literary fortune in his infamous homeland, the state of Indiana....more
Lithub, a new web endeavor from Electric Literature with partnerships between publishers, magazines, journals, and existing websites, launched yesterday with the aim of becoming a portal at the center of the literary world. The Guardian caught up with site editor Jonny Diamond who explained how the website hopes to operate:
“The very basic quid pro quo is an ad in exchange for a feature or excerpt.
Electric Literature posts a graduation speech from Vonnegut; he riffs on World War II, busboys, ambition, and suicide notes:
A young woman told me a couple of years ago that she had applied for admission here. The man who interviewed her asked her why she had found the place attractive.
Scary movie of the hour It Follows is peppered with intertextual references to Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Ben Apatoff looks for the connection (if there is one):
If anything, The Idiot enhances It Follows more than it represents it, augmenting the film’s foreboding atmosphere with quotes from a writer who could create anxiety and suspense as artfully as any of the Russian greats.
Well, one of things we have in common as writers is that we don’t work too much from personal experience. So, I feel like there’s a constant desire for readers to find parallels between one’s life and one’s work. And they do exist but I think in the case of people like us if we wanted that to be the conversation, they would be much more in the foreground.
Electric Literature and Catapult.co recently announced a new series of writing workshops and classes:
Our goal is to connect emerging and unpublished writers with some of the most dynamic and interesting literary writers in NYC, and create the kind of writing classes we wish we could take ourselves.
The gamer story. Regardless of its iteration—D&D, Commodore 64, Nintendo, X Box, LARP—there is the hero, and there is the rest of the gang, subjugated as sidekicks and underlings. The gamer story has a long tradition of tropes and structures, arcs and character elements, at the center of which has always been the hero telling the story and in world more like ours, the person role-playing that hero....more
Adam Flemming Petty writes over on Electric Literature about the literature of ruins:
This perception of antiquities as fragile rather than permanent, and all the more affecting for their fragility, is common in literature. Writers have often found their imaginations piqued when encountering the broken, the cracked, the falling-apart.
I think what demands telling and retelling and re-retelling is this: any story in which complicated grief and desperate sadness is the main character . . . Loss is really the one thing we all share, rich and poor and stupid and smart alike.