Posts Tagged: The Millions
For The Millions, Alex Engebretson argues that despite the twenty-four year gap between the publication of Marilynne Robinson’s first and second novel, the author’s recurring themes and imagery present a “singular vision”:
Instead of an author who recreated herself late in her career, Robinson is one who has returned and renewed imaginative possibilities already latent within her first book.
Almond stalks through his arguments against the modern state of football at a pace that is both clipped and highly personal. There is a lot of shame here, a discomfort with being complicit in that “system” lying at the root of his angry screed.
Story|Houston published a beautiful story this week in their Fall 2014 issue, all of which centers around the theme of family, functional or otherwise. “Termites” tells the story of Tamara, aka Tam or Tam-Tam, a youngish woman living in and trying to take care of/sell her family’s childhood home on Staten Island....more
Reading is solitary and personal, but you aren’t necessarily alone in it. In some ways, we are all reading together; even if we are also reading alone.
I didn’t know it while I was flaunting his books throughout my elementary school, but forty years earlier Crichton had lived out my dreams of childhood achievement.
Over at The Millions, Jared Young confesses his early age obsession with Michael Crichton, which inspired him to attempt writing a novel at 14 about an island, a group of men, and of course, dinosaurs!...more
Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? By the time we’ve figured it out, we’ve already gotten there. Examining a trend toward futuristic fiction, Bill Morris looks at the near future as a literary setting that both illuminates and supersedes the present:
…technology is changing so fast that there’s no longer a present; the future is already here, relentlessly unspooling into the past.
For The Millions, Nathan Scott McNamara tracks John Barth and John Updike’s friendship through a series of letters written over the authors’ celebrated careers. While early letters show a relationship of admiration and respect, differences in philosophy and style led to in an increasingly “thorny” rapport in later years....more
Remember Elizabeth Strout’s 2008 Pulitzer-prize winning novel in stories Olive Kitteridge? What if Olive could come to life in a film adaptation? Man. In a perfect world, probably Frances McDormand would play Olive, right? In fact, maybe we could just give McDormand creative control of the whole project, yeah?...more
At The Millions, Brooke Hauser compares Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl with Helen Gurley Brown’s seminal Sex and the Single Girl and finds, distressingly, that not much has changed when it comes to the critical reception of women writing about sex:
A lot has happened since 1962 when Sex and the Single Girl came out.
Writing is its own form of music. And though I had read my novel aloud to myself many times and had read passages of it aloud to dozens of audiences on my book tour, hearing another person — a trained actor — reading my writing was a curious kick, a revelation.
A story is different from an event . . . The event is what happens. A story is the mythology that rises from what happens. Often this mythology is where the real story, the truest story, lives.
On Tuesday, Aqueous Books released From Here, Jen Michalski’s second short story collection and fourth book. The founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww and a long-time Baltimore resident, Michalski’s fiction has found homes in more than 80 publications.
Looking at the early reviews and the stories from the new collection that have appeared online, one gets a sense of Michalski’s territory: neighborhoods with worn and tattered fences, where yards and lives overlap and spill onto one another, where rules are broken and categories are hard to define....more
As the author of a forthcoming nonfiction book, a biography, I have become aware of how male-dominated the field of biography is. But why all of nonfiction?
That is the hard question Anne Boyd Rioux tries to answer with her essay on gender inequality in nonfiction literary genre over at The Millions....more
Using Italian author Alessandro Baricco’s recently translated novellas, Mr. Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn, as a starting point, Matt Seidel goes deep over at The Millions into the subject of portraiture in literature....more
The approach coupled with the scope (covering, as it does, a huge swath of time) results in maybe the most complete history of the novel in English ever produced.
(n); an embellishment or ornament in speech; to speak in flowery language; c. 1651
Trouble. Trouble is a great dustpan of a word. Its roots are found in Latin in the verb turbidare, to make turbid … Trouble branched off to mean that quality or state of being in distress or annoyance, of having malfunctioned; it’s a condition of debility, or ill health, a civil disorder, an inconvenience, a pregnancy out of wedlock.
In a culture where everything is assigned a market value, imagination isn’t in high demand. Over at The Millions, Chloe Benjamin wonders why some of imagination’s most vivid manifestations—dreams and fiction—fall so low on our priority list:
But in the absence of conclusive evidence, sleep’s utility—like that of fiction—is still in doubt.
But what if your entire book is based on another one? What if a certain piece of information (in the cases of these books, a writer or a specific novel) is foundational to your text? How, then, should you proceed? Should you explain the referenced work so that those unfamiliar with it can enjoy your book?
How much time should be spent on a single work of art? Or inversely, how will the amount of time spent on a work ultimately shape what that work will become and what it will mean to the creator? What it will mean to us?
It seems impossible to say that someone was quietly assembling a story collection over a decade and a half when they’ve been publishing each of the stories one by one over at a little place called The New Yorker. And yet, that appears to be exactly what Donald Antrim has done....more
Should a writer submit to a literary magazine that only “pays” in contributor copies? What does it mean that we, in the literary community, have accepted lack of monetary payment as commonplace?
At The Millions, Tracy O’Neill deconstructs the Ritz-Carlton’s new “Six Word Wows” ad campaign. The hotel chain calls for guests to describe their stay in six words or less, using the hashtag #RCMemories, and claims to be ““Paying Homage to a Classic Ernest Hemingway Line.” O’Neill frames her essay with Thomas Frank’s assertion that, since the mid-90s, corporations have targeted consumers by playing up their nonconformity, creating the “Culture Trust: a corporate America that deploys the sensibilities of counterculture for profit.” However, O’Neill goes a step further, wondering if the campaign works, perhaps, because it gives patrons “an authorial role” and allows them to describe what they see as their extraordinary vacations....more