We have to interrogate our basic assumption that writing skills possessed by educated white people are the best skills around…Humor, action, relatable language, and plotting are not lesser tools in a writer’s toolbox, but equally necessary ones.
Posts Tagged: Flavorwire
Jane Austen has been blowing up these days, with hundreds of fan-fictional responses to Pride and Prejudice gracing the dusty corners of bookstores and the Internet. Over at Flavorwire, Sarah Seltzer wonders why we’re still so eager to return to Pemberley:
Because Austen doesn’t overload us with sensory details about her characters, but merely depicts them walking around in the world, talking, judging, and making mistakes, we project a lot of our own experience and imagination into our reading, and this makes us feel personally acquainted with them.
Literary criticism suffers from elitism, claims Elisabeth Donnelly over at Flavorwire, and the solution is introducing a poptimism revolution. The term poptimism originated in the music world as a reaction to stodgy music reviewers’ love of Bob Dylan and “argues for a more inclusive view of what matters and what’s pleasurable in music.” Donnelly insists that book reviewers and literary culture could stand to benefit from a wider audience by embracing popular books....more
Adam Sternbergh, author of Dystopian novel Shovel Ready, asked whether readers are burning out on the Dystopian novel. He goes as far as suggesting that perhaps the next great novel will be a Utopian one. Emily Temple, writing at Flavorwire, explains why Utopias don’t make good novel settings:
The reason that utopian novels are far and few between is that a utopia is, on a very basic level, just not a good topic for a novel.
Having realized the rights to three unpublished Salinger stories were unclaimed, small publisher Devault-Graves set about purchasing them. The stories were published earlier this week. But despite the fun of having a little more Salinger to read, some are unhappy with how the stories were released:
They’re more innocent, more trusting, but ultimately, and unfortunately, they’re not all that much to write home about.
The continuing battle between Amazon and Hachette was the focus of a panel discussion hosted by the New York Public Library last week featuring novelist James Patterson, publisher Morgan Entrekin, literary agent Tina Bennett, and several political theorists. Jason Diamond has a writeup at Flavorwire:
The takeaway from the event was this: the trouble Amazon causes the book industry is but a symptom of a larger and dangerous illness (there’s also the company’s well-documented poor treatment of its employees, for instance) and it leaves you wondering what comes after books.
In a recently tweeted series of amateur photos, artist and writer Szilvia Molnar satirizes the figure of the cool male writer so often conveyed in author portraits by the presence of a cigarette. Having noticed a discrepancy between the portrayal of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Zadie Smith in promotional photos for a publishing event, Molnar took it upon herself to reveal the manufactured ridiculousness of the serious cool-guy image with selfies that can’t possibly be taken seriously....more
A “total Nathaniel P.” describes a certain kind of male literary intellectual, the opposite of the finance crowd who coined the phrase an insult. But among people who have actually read Adelle Waldman’s novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Nate Piven earns a lot of sympathy in spite of his disagreeable demeanor....more
While I can’t really comment on whether she’s from Krypton or offer any definitive knowledge of her sleep habits, as somebody who has read Gay’s work for a few years now, the thing I’ve always found interesting about it is that she can straddle the line between being a “writer’s writer” (a term I mostly detest, but one that does adequately sum up the sort of writer whose dedication to the craft earns them just as many devoted followers as readers) and one who is able to get a wider audience to pay attention and react in some way to her words.
An article published in Flavorwire hails Cheryl Strayed (Rumpus’ very own Sugar) as a publishing hero. In Jason Diamond’s words, “Strayed is the rare type of writer who is both critically and commercially embraced, but also keeps her feet firmly planted in the literary world.” But how did this come to be?...more
A closer look at the literary map of the 50 states reveals that even if the publishing industry writ large is situated in New York and Los Angeles, some of the most exciting things going on in American literature are taking place in the middle of the country.
Although plenty of critics and academics have done a wonderful job reinterpreting what it means to be “the canon,” there are still many readers in the US who, consciously or subconsciously, believe that men have contributed most of what we know to be literature.
Flavorwire’s Jason Diamond has compiled a list of fifty books that defined the past five years of literature.
From the universally acclaimed (Wolf Hall) to the controversial (what purpose did i serve in your life), from the literary heavyweights (Tenth of December) to the pop-culture juggernauts (The Hunger Games), these books “show what is great about literature here and now.”
We’re psyched to see that the list includes Wild by our Dear Sugar columnist Cheryl Strayed, Ayiti by our essays editor Roxane Gay, When the Only Light is Fire by Rumpus pal Saeed Jones, and a host of other books by Rumpus interviewees, book-club authors, and friends....more
The silver lining of the publishing industry’s turmoil is that independent small presses are increasingly able to bring readers unique and fascinating books.
Flavorwire’s Jason Diamond has collected twenty-five of the presses doing the risky but essential work bigger publishers are often too afraid to do....more
In “honor” of David Gilmour’s comments to a Hazlitt interviewer about how he refused to teach books by female authors, Rumpus contributor Michelle Dean rounded up some other literary men’s contributions to the field of misogyny.
From Hemingway blaming all men’s problems on women’s diseased brains to T....more
In a post titled “The New Golden Age of Online Book Clubs,” Flavorwire shouts out the Rumpus Book Club as one of many sites using new technology to recreate the age-old pleasure of talking about books.
(For an example of the joys of our book club, see today’s chat with Matthew Specktor, whose novel American Dream Machine book club subscribers got to read before it came out in bookstores.)
Thanks, Flavorwire, we love you back!...more
The Paris Review just celebrated its sixtieth birthday—and not a gray hair in sight!
But many game-changing, sterling-quality literary magazines didn’t make it to that ripe old(ish) age.
At Flavorwire, Jason Diamond rounds up some of the Paris Review‘s most promising peers and their untimely deaths....more
Brian is a mainstay at The Rumpus. He’s our poetry editor and he runs our book clubs. If you participate in any of our book club chats, you’ve e-met Brian; if not, you can e-meet him on Twitter. He’s also a poet in his own right....more
We’re psyched to see we made it onto Flavorwire’s list of 25 Best Websites for Literature Lovers, especially because we were labeled “the best of the West”! Labels are always better when they rhyme.
Congrats to all the other folks on the list, many of whom we work with often and all of whom we adore....more
In this week’s New Yorker, TV critic Emily Nussbaum grapples with the cultural legacy of Sex and the City:
High-feminine instead of fetishistically masculine, glittery rather than gritty, and daring in its conception of character, “Sex and the City” was a brilliant and, in certain ways, radical show.
If you like your detectives hardboiled and your femmes fatale, you’ll dig Flavorwire’s list of ten essential neo-noir authors.
From Dennis Lehane (author of Shutter Island and Mystic River) to Lindsay Hunter (the heir apparent to Mary Gaitskill’s throne), these writers incorporate elements of mystery and horror without letting the strictures of genre limit them....more
The disparity of women writers in the publishing world has been an increasingly hot topic of late.
Flavorwire has compiled a list entitled “10 Women Who Should be Writing for ‘Harper’s,” and we’re excited that three of the women are our own essays editor Roxane Gay, Dear Sugar’s Cheryl Strayed, and Funny Women editor Elissa Bassist!...more
We reached out to several of the worst offenders to ask where they thought they had gone wrong…but got very little in the way of responses. So we decided, instead, to reach out to the editors of the publications that actually had managed to show a relatively gender-equitable byline distribution in 2012.