Posts Tagged: Electric Literature
At Electric Literature, Heather Scott Partington interviews former Rumpus Sunday Editor (and forever friend) Gina Frangello about her latest novel, Every Kind of Wanting. They discuss other writers who have influenced her work, the emotional truths that literary fiction can get at, and the duality of her characters:
Characters have to breathe and bleed.
Considering how prolific James Patterson and his team of writers are, it’s no surprise that he turned to “fan fiction” with a novel called The Murder of Stephen King. Unfortunately for those curious about the book, Patterson has cancelled its release, according Jackson Frons, writing at Electric Literature....more
Settling the debate about whether “writer” is job that arose with Merritt Tierce’s Marie Claire essay about going broke post-debut novel, and a response piece by Ester Bloom at The Billfold calling writing a hobby, Lincoln Michel finds a middle ground between the two stances, arguing at Electric Literature that yes, writing should be considered a job—and the attitude that it isn’t encourages exploitation....more
The National Endowment for the Arts recently published its Annual Arts Basic Survey, and the news isn’t so great for literature. As reported by Dani Spencer at Electric Literature, only 43 percent of American adults read a novel, short story, poem or play on their own for pleasure in 2015....more
So I didn’t understand how radical The Price of Salt was, how strange and fabulist it is in parts, how hallucinatory and real. I didn’t know how revelatory a book could be to a life lived trying so hard to be normal.
While fiction embraces the flights of fancy that come with imagination, nonfiction is fairly hostile to writers who stray too far away from the objective facts of the story. How closely should writers of nonfiction stick to facts? At Electric Literature, Justin Lawrence Daugherty makes the case for embracing some unreality in writing nonfiction:
We can talk about truth versus fact.
At Electric Literature, Samantha Tanner reaches out to the dead via a spiritual medium, confronting the ghosts and echoes that haunt anyone who writes about family. Along the way she contemplates exercises of faith and delving into the unknown:
The distinction between fiction and faith is huge.
Writing in Mexico City is like holding a conversation when you’re under the takeoff and landing path of the city’s airplanes: you have to shut up sometimes, to let the noise take over everything, to let the sky split in two before picking up where you left off.
In a poignant essay for Electric Literature, memoirist Lori Jakiela (Belief is it’s Own Kind of Truth, Maybe) looks back on the time she spent working the church kitchen on bingo nights, and what it taught her about life and writing:
Empathy, like writing, can be about kindness or it can be an aggressive act, both.
There’s nothing that the book world likes to debate more than the differences between literary fiction and commercial or genre fiction.
According to a new study published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, readers of literary fiction are better able to understand emotions as compared with readers of popular genre fiction, Electric Literature reports....more
As a writer, I always want to know where the light is in the room and how it’s striking the characters. Even if that description doesn’t make it to the end – maybe because the viewpoint character isn’t that observant – the echo of it there means that there’s a little bit more reality to the situation.
I wonder about this in terms of genre. Just as I don’t want to identify as non-binary, regardless of the potential room for accuracy, I don’t want to identify as a “writer of neither genres.” But how much does want matter when perception is what labels us in the mainstream?
In the latest installment of “The Blunt Instrument” over at Electric Literature, Elisa Gabbert tackles the delicate question of bias in literary journals. Her answer? Take thoughtful reflections and make careful adjustments....more
What interested me so much about that job was how we, the help—the nannies and the housekeepers—were so quick to dismiss our boss’ pain.
As part of the Hemingway Days festival on Key West each year, the Hemingway Look-Alike Society hosts the Hemingway Look-Alike contest. This year, and for the first time ever, someone with the last name Hemingway took home the honor and the giant medal that goes with it:
Dave Hemingway of Macon, North Carolina and who is of no relation to the author, finally lifted the triumphant bust of “Papa” Hemingway after seven previous appearances in the contest.
At Electric Literature, an anonymous writer shares her personal experience with a creative writing classmate who plagiarized other poets. The writer poses the question of when writing crosses the boundary between respectful mimicry and plagiarism:
When have I changed [a poem] enough that the poem is now in my possession, my creative and intellectual property?
Desire is the center of everything. We want because we are lonely, regretful, hopeful. We want because we don’t feel at home in our bodies or our lives. Want is this pivot point between whatever happened before that we’re trying to move away from or closer to and the question of whether we’ll get there.
At Electric Literature, Manuel Betancourt argues that there is value to the “cheap sentimentality” in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and its film adaptation:
What cheap sentimentality can do is to short-circuit our connection to the depths of our emotions, precisely by making us feel that they are closer to the surface than we’re perhaps comfortable with.
In a powerful essay at Electric Literature, Nicole Dennis-Benn writes on innocence as a privilege that is not afforded to black children:
Truth is, there is nothing parents can do. There is nothing black parents can do to protect their children and their children’s innocence.
Beyond the obvious fact of when it was written or published, what does it mean for literature to be contemporary? Is a work’s relevance determined by market trends and cultural currents? In her monthly advice column for Electric Literature, Elisa Gabbert allays a writer’s temporally induced anxieties:
Magical realism “has been done,” yes, but so has everything else.
At Electric Literature, Bronwyn Averett interviews Julia Franks about her debut novel, Over the Plain Houses. The novel is set in a small town Appalachian Village, and explores “the government’s role in the lives of individuals, the responsibility of humans toward the environment, and the place of women within their communities.” On the latter topic, Franks says:
When women don’t behave the way we want, we demonize them.
This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation....more