Posts Tagged: Electric Literature
So I re-read the opening, then the end once more. I looked at the cover. I turned it over to contemplate what’s already been said about it. I set the book down on the bench next to me and smiled. Then I began the review in the present tense.
When you think of romance, you probably think Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Gone With the Wind, Wuthering Heights—or anything by Nicholas Sparks if you’re into more modern fare. These famous love stories, spread across centuries, have one thing in common: they’re all about heterosexual couples....more
I think we all live in different ways. Some people don’t look back; some people dwell on the past. They are surrounded by mementos and pictures of the past. Other people don’t want to do that. It really depends on who you are.
The debate has typically been framed around whether it is ever appropriate for a writer to reference Seinfeld, Bright Eyes, or Facebook. What makes more sense is to talk about whether or not doing so is helpful for the specific project at hand.
For Electric Literature, Laura Preston interviews Garth Greenwell about his recent debut novel What Belongs to You. The two discuss what led Greenwell to transition from writing poetry to fiction, his experiences teaching in Bulgaria, and English syntax:
I’m endlessly fascinated with the elastic capabilities of English.
The great first sentence is not just a step on the path to a story but its own self-sufficient enterprise. Is it so easy to extract because it was unnaturally grafted on in the first place?
We all know the obvious importance of a first sentence, that hook that invites you to read through a novel completely....more
A new essay by Nigerian author A. Igoni Barrett (Love Is Power, or Something Like That and Blackass) highlights the ways poverty and struggle work against those in Nigeria who would be writers:
I found nothing there for me [at his university in Ibadan].
Artmaking is a particularly human occupation. It deserves celebrating in small and big ways.
Following the trend of microfiction on Chipotle bags and short story vending machines, a new endeavor from Coffee House Press called Coffee Sleeve Conversations is setting out to print works specifically from writers of color on coffee sleeves in the hopes of giving exposure to underrepresented voices and creating more diverse conversations....more
For Electric Literature, Liesl Schillinger reflects on his struggles to find examples of “good” men in contemporary fiction, and shares his joy in finding one in Lauren Groff‘s Fates and Furies. Further, he argues that despite the self-deprecating narrator in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, the six-volume epic captures an “everyman” whose goodwill helps him to succeed:
There is room in the reading world for fiction about every kind of person on earth, whatever their sexual or gender identity or preference; whatever their deficit or surfeit of ability, whatever their weakness or strength of personality; whatever their luck, good or ill… But when I remember my troubled male friend, who asked me not so long ago, during a dark moment, to recommend a novel about a man who succeeded, I am so glad that I can now give him a title.
Submission fees irk writers because they often prey on novice writers without the connections to bypass slush piles. Narrative Magazine is one of the worst offenders, with a fee of $23, seven times the typical fee of $3. Narrative justifies the high fee because they fund publication of the magazine—and the editors’ hefty salaries....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.
My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.
J.K. Rowling has recently found herself defending her Harry Potter series’ character Voldemort against comparisons to Donald Trump. At Electric Literature, however, Julia Tolo points out the similarities between the two:
As Harry Potter fans know, Voldemort’s motis operandi was hinged on deep-set racism and his desire to purify wizard-kind.
What is it to read Alice, a century and a half after its creation, in the era of Guantánamo? For me, it is to understand ‘nonsense’ not as children’s fantasy but as a riptide in the human mind, which drags us further off course the more violent or conceited or certain we are.