This week, in a story by Akhil Sharma that will leave you devastated, an Indian woman in an arranged marriage wakes one day to discover that she loves her husband. “If You Sing Like That for Me,” originally published in the Atlantic in 1995, is available this week at Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading in conjunction with the release of Sharma’s short story collection, A Life of Adventure and Delight, which collects this story and seven others that focus on the lives of Indian protagonists as they negotiate relationships and the difficulties of the human heart....more
Posts Tagged: Electric Literature
At Nowhere, Alia Volz takes a long-shot journey to Cuba to tie up loose ends.
For Guernica, Katherina Grace Thomas writes about that time Nina Simone loved and left paradise.
Here at The Rumpus, Alaina Leary considers the painful work of accounting for family possessions under dire circumstances....more
The PEN America World Voices Festival, a weeklong international literary festival that focuses on human rights, is ongoing in New York City this week, and this year’s theme of gender and power seems more pertinent and urgent than ever. While over 150 writers from across the globe gather at the festival to bridge borders through the power of words, Electric Literature has opened its Recommended Reading archives to those of us who can’t be in NYC, offering eleven short stories and a poem that examine gender’s power and its bonds, that question its limitations and celebrate its liberation....more
For Lidia Yuknavitch, the personal is unavoidably political in this piece for Electric Literature.
At Catapult, David Frey writes with moving realness on what it is like to watch a parent age and transition into assisted living.
Jenessa Abrams looks at the nuances of mental illness and the damage of a word like “crazy” here at The Rumpus....more
For Electric Literature, Christine Vines ably dissects the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and finds it wanting, with the notable conclusion that “We still have a problem with the word ‘crazy’ and this show, despite its feminist packaging, is doing nothing to alleviate it.”
Rumpus Advisory Board member Melissa Febos offers essential advice to writers on how to handle the demands on your time over at Catapult....more
In a political climate in which undocumented immigrants are painted as criminals and rapists and half the country is crying for deportation, this week’s story reminds us that immigrants are fathers who love their daughters, who work hard and send money home to dying mothers, who will go to the ends of the Earth for their loved ones—they are normal Americans with normal hearts, just like the rest of us....more
Electric Literature, in partnership with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, is offering full scholarships to workshops and classes that they’ll be co-presenting with Catapult. The scholarships are open to people of all ages and levels of experience, with the only requirement being that writers are New York City-based....more
With the election putting us all on edge, and the news cycles on both political ends spouting the rhetoric of potentially unprecedented catastrophe depending on the results, let’s step back and look to literature for an answer. For example: the many aspects of Donald Trump’s personality as embodied by several characters in classic lit, from Pola Lim over at Electric Literature....more
Electric Literature just launched a fundraising campaign for their new literary card game full of crude humor and punny jokes about favorite classic authors and works. According to its Kickstarter page, Papercuts: A Party Game for the Rude and Well-Read is “what Kurt Vonnegut, James Baldwin, and Virginia Woolf would play if they were alive, locked in a room together, and forced to play a card game.” If the funding goal is met, we’ll be playing Papercuts by this Christmas!...more
While the great classics studied in classrooms everywhere tend to have very memorable titles, those classics could have received slightly different treatment had their working titles been used instead. Over at Electric Literature, Carrie Mullins looks at several classics whose titles changed before publication....more
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