Posts Tagged: salon

Show Me the Money

By

It’s no secret that writing doesn’t pay. Ann Bauer wants to talk about where the money comes from:

In my opinion, we do an enormous “let them eat cake” disservice to our community when we obfuscate the circumstances that help us write, publish and in some way succeed…I do have a huge advantage over the writer who is living paycheck to paycheck, or lonely and isolated, or dealing with a medical condition, or working a full-time job.

...more

In the Name of Fear

By

It’s very hard to imagine a president getting up and talking about how damaging the fear of terrorism has been to us, culturally and politically, and how much it’s horribly undermined us. Looking at torture and all the other things that have been done in the name of counterterrorism, it’s really quite disturbing what we’ve done in the name of our own fear.

...more

Getting Difference Wrong

By

In an interview with Salon, the always-wise Roxane Gay offers her opinions on Bill Cosby, Lena Dunham, and the challenges of writing characters whose experiences differ from one’s own:

We can imagine spaceships and different planets and aliens, but when it comes to writing about someone who is of a different race or a different gender or a different sexuality then all of a sudden we’re very confused…I think that it’s terrifying to worry about getting difference wrong.

...more

Not That Kind of Narrator

By

The problem with unreliable narrators — and the thing that makes them so delightful to read in fiction — is that by design, you never quite know when they are telling the truth. Which makes it a stunningly poor choice of conventions to employ when writing about sexual assault, a crime that victims are often accused of fabricating, either wholesale or in parts.

...more

Gotta Serve Somebody

By

In an excerpt from his recently released book Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas, Adam Kirsch positions David Foster Wallace as a quintessentially American writer: self-conscious and ironic, but at the same time frenzied, earnest, and above all contradictory:

A clue to the answer can be found in a question Wallace asked in “Infinite Jest:” “Why is the truth usually not just un- but anti-interesting?” In that excessively interesting book, the interesting is always suspect.

...more

Seriously, Though

By

At Salon, Lydia Millet gets serious about sexism, climate change and extinction, and the literary establishment’s dismissal of funny books:

“Important” serious books often seem to be picked based on the simplicity and safety of their content as a barometer of upper-middle-class cultural preoccupation, and humor’s too complex and ambiguous to be a flagship like that.

...more

Indie Bookstore Road Trip

By

Independent bookstores will save the world, or at least the publishing industry, maybe. Josh Weil and Mike Harvkey took a road trip across the country, exploring independent bookstores. They found a collection of dedicated shops and local literary communities, but that didn’t answer the fundamental question: how important are independent bookstores are to writers?

...more

Rewriting History

By

Salon has published an excerpt from Edward E. Baptist’s new book about the relationship between slavery and the development of capitalism in America. In it, he identifies the ways in which the American master narrative has written slavery out of our nation’s history and denied the system of mass murder and suffering on whose back the land of the free was conceived:

It would have to avoid the old platitudes, such as the easy temptation to tell the story as a collection of topics—here a chapter on slave resistance, there one on women and slavery, and so on.

...more

Road Tripping for Inspiration

By

“We’re doing this because we’re buds and we’re starting new books. We’ve always talked our ideas through with each other; it’s always helped. Through these conversations, we’ve grown as writers together.”

Josh Weil and Mike Harvkey have been longtime friends. Now, both with new novels on the way, they have embarked on a five day trip through America to talk about their writing.

...more

Out of the Binders and Into the Refrigerators

By

The success of The Magicians trilogy stems in part from its self-awareness. Lev Grossman wields his familiarity with fantasy genre fiction to critique and alter the usual formula. So why do his female characters all serve the same purpose?

…he’d almost certainly be familiar with the infamous tradition of “Women in Refrigerators,” coined by comic fan Gail Simone in 1999: It means, basically, that female characters are often killed off or otherwise grotesquely traumatized (raped, tortured, paralyzed, stripped of superpowers, etc.) to motivate angst on the part of male leads.

...more

An End to Bookends

By

At Salon, Molly Fischer criticizes the New York Times’s “Bookends” column, going so far as to suggest that the it be eliminated for good. She compares the question-and-answer formats — and the content of the prompts — as reminiscent of  high school English classes:

It’s not just the stiff phrasing (“What should we make of this?” “What’s behind the notion?”) that gives Bookends its blue-books-and-binder-paper feel.

...more