The publication of Dr. Seuss’s What Pet Should I Get? is a welcome surprise for kids of all ages. But the question of why the book was not published during Seuss’s lifetime remains unanswered. Was it lost in the shuffle? The New York Times Sunday Book Review explores a more interesting explanation....more
Posts Tagged: New York Times
We all know the rise of Wikipedia and its always-accessible treasure trove of information was the decisive nail-in-the-coffin for those dusty, hardcover encyclopedia sets. But for the people behind Print Wikipedia, there’s the desire to collect all of Wikipedia (at least its English form) into a shape like those reference tomes of yesteryear....more
The dream of a global literary community is not new. But as globalization has not meant greater political or economic equality, cultural cosmopolitanism has not been guaranteed by instant communication and inexpensive travel. These do, however, present significant new opportunities for literary activism.
At the New York Times, Alice Gregory and Pankaj Mishra discuss the role of moralism in the novel—and conclude that authors should seek to question and provoke rather than preach:
Not only does moral preoccupation corrupt the artfulness of fiction, but fiction is an inefficient and insincere vehicle for moralizing.
Language is a shape-shifting thing. For some, it is purely the written word, and for others, it is movement, color, texture, light. In its art-themed Sunday Book Review, the New York Times explores how five artists react to five different books through visual compositions....more
Over the weekend, newspapers across the country shared headlines of forgiveness from the families of the nine slain. The dominant media narrative vigorously embraced that notion of forgiveness, seeming to believe that if we forgive we have somehow found a way to make sense of the incomprehensible.
The American imagination has never been able to fully recover from its white-supremacist beginnings. Consequently, our laws and attitudes have been straining against the devaluation of the black body. Despite good intentions, the associations of blackness with inarticulate, bestial criminality persist beneath the appearance of white civility.
“It’s like peeping over the edge of the world while remembering you’ve left your spectacles on the kitchen table,” she writes of her cruelly paradoxical situation: knowing that death is on its way without knowing when exactly it will arrive.
Jenny Diski has inoperable lung cancer—and the prolific British essayist has chosen to write through it, often addressing her cancer in a “pull-me, push-me” structure alongside the three years she spent as the foster daughter of Doris Lessing....more
In my thought, a book reviewer was sitting in front of a pile of books, trying to decide which ones to review. Coming upon mine, the reviewer looked at the cover skeptically, about to fling it aside, then flipped to the author photo and became confused.
So begins a piece on NPR from Roxane Gay on the New York Times’s newly released summer reading list, which features zero authors of color. Gay argues that national outlets with wide-ranging audiences, like NYT or NPR, should not and cannot afford to continue leaving out extraordinary works by a diversity of authors....more
That morning, Blume, in a pink baseball cap and sneakers, was taking her daily two-mile walk on a path that snakes along the beach. At 8 a.m., the sun was already strong, but the more Blume talked, the faster she walked, and everything sped up whenever the conversation turned to her new book, “In the Unlikely Event,” which will be published next month.
As I worked, filing reports every night from a hotel room, the details nagged at me. Her mother, Japa Tamang, was living in an open-sided shed once used to store grain, in hills still shuddering from aftershocks. My husband had the idea of giving her a ride back to Kathmandu and a plane ticket to Delhi, and this idea cheered me up greatly.
(n.); soft, delicate, tender; from the Old English hnesce (“soft in texture”) or Gothic hnasqus (“tender; soft”)
“Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth over the merits of print versus digital books so many times, it’s as if I were in an abusive relationship with myself.
Few things are more frightening for an academic and a scholar than losing the ability to think. Their livelihoods, and sense of self, are dependent on the cognitive ability to generate new ideas and write about them. And so for Sandy Bem, a psychology professor, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s threatened a devastating blow....more
Parthenope was one of the local Sirens who in Book XII of the Odyssey, and many variant versions of the story, sang songs to lure the Greek hero Odysseus to his doom, not anticipating that he would block the seductive sound by filling his sailors’ ears with wax.
A scathing indictment from Jim Dwyer at the New York Times this week accuses city leaders of depriving funding from the library system, and its mayors of holding the NYPL hostage for leverage in budget negotiations. As Dwyer points out, city libraries draw more annual visitors than the museums, sports stadiums, and performing arts institutions combined—and the funding just doesn’t add up....more
Hit young adult novels may spread like wildfire, but they don’t grow on trees. The Times profiles Julie Strauss-Gabel, a YA editor known for whipping her writers into shape:
The last thing you want is an author saying, ‘That’s what’s selling right now, so that’s what I’m going to write.’ That’s the point at which a trend gets icky.
In 2013 Ross Williams began an ambitious project: film all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets in 154 different New York City locations, and reach “beyond the restrictions of a live performance in a small theater.” Now the project has taken a large step forward, as the group completed their 100th film, which features the Emmy-award winning actress Carrie Preston reciting Sonnet 27 on the Verrazano Bridge....more