Posts Tagged: Electric Literature
At Electric Literature, Kelly Luce discusses the new collection of Lucia Berlin’s stories, A Manual for Cleaning Women, why she loves her fiction, and how the author’s work has often been overlooked until now:
Maybe it’s because she was a woman writing largely about women, from the perspective of women, and also about real sadness—not cute pat-her-on-the-head romantic problems and family matters.
Tobias Carroll interviews Robert Kloss about his new novel, The Revelator, for Electric Literature. The two discuss the challenges of writing novels in the second person and how history shapes characters:
We have the illusion that we are in control of our lives, that we determine events, but we do not.
At Electric Literature, Matthew Salesses discusses the works of Joseph Conrad and Flannery O’Connor to explore the problem of unconscious prejudice and unintentional racism in writing, and how writers can avoid it:
The writing of fiction cannot treat marginalized characters as vessels, cannot let the plot play out the racism of under-enlightened protagonists.
Using writing as a metaphor for birth, or birth as a metaphor for writing, belittles each: the raw, nerve-shattering physical labor of one, and the years of mental labor and fortitude of the other.
Creepy robots were often at the heart of Philip K. Dick stories. The future is now: a company is building a realistic looking robot to haunt your dreams and it looks strikingly similar to the science fiction author. Electric Literature reports on the project from Hanson Robotics:
On their website, Hanson Robotics highlights their desire to “realize the dream of friendly machines who truly live and love, and co-invent the future of life.” Philip K.
Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll interviews fantasy author N.K. Jemison about her character- and world-building processes, the evolution of her publication history, and narrative structure.
I read pretty widely, not just fantasy, so I don’t feel particularly wedded to the genre conventions.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons regulations, as investigated by The Atlantic, state their right to prohibit any publications found “to be detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution or if it might facilitate criminal activity.”
Chelsea Manning is incarcerated for divulging state secrets to WikiLeaks....more
In preparation for the release of the last book of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, Electric Literature’s Emma Adler offers a comprehensive “study guide” to the previous three books. While the article is “complete with hard-to-pronounce names, flashbacks and flash-forwards, and enough plot twists to fill a season’s worth of All My Children,” Adler is carful to warn prospective Ferrante readers not to rely on the guide in lieu of reading the novelist’s earlier works, as “faking having read a Ferrante novel is probably impossible.”...more
I’m interested in the stories we tell ourselves, and how they may conflict with other people’s stories about the world, and how, if we’re operating under a delusion, we might make really weird decisions. I like to explore that in fiction—why we do weird things.
At Electric Literature, Monica Byrne discusses the ongoing art revolution in Belize, and how artists create works that represent a diverse and beautiful country dealing with the trauma of postcolonialism:
If an artist isn’t interested in protest per se, how does one articulate a visual language of pleasure that is truly their own, and not that of the colonizers?
Ukrainian literature—or Ukrainian culture more broadly—employs the words “last” quite often: last territory, last bastion, the last issue of a magazine, the last books of a bankrupt publisher, the last Ukrainian-speaking readers, writers, translators.
At Electric Literature, Natalka Sniadanko discusses Ukraine’s obsession with “last.”...more
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.
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.