Over at The Millions, several esteemed editors discuss their journals’ rejection policies. Magazines represented include The Paris Review, Hobart, The Rattling Wall, The Harvard Review, and others. It is wonderfully humbling as a writer to be reminded how difficult the task of rejecting good work can be....more
Posts Tagged: The Millions
“Does anybody outside of our circle care?” asks The Millions’ Nick Ripatrazone in a post about literary magazines. “What is the wider cultural influence of literary magazines?”
To try to figure it out, he looks at pop-culture depictions of lit-mags, from a George Plimpton cameo on The Simpsons to a whole episode of Cheers about submitting—and then receiving rejection letters for—poetry....more
Teaching is a complicated profession, especially in the field of creative writing where emotions run high.
Does teaching hurt your writing? What if you’re an able writer but a mediocre teacher?
Joyce Hinnefeld tackles her ambivalence about the job she’s been doing for two decades with admirable honesty in this essay at The Millions....more
If you can’t describe the color red to someone born blind, here are some scents you can’t describe to someone born anosmic, or without a sense of smell: “feet, chalk, lilacs, gardenias, sour milk, rain, new cars, Chanel No. 5, Old Spice, greasepaint, [and] napalm.”
In a strangely fascinating essay at The Millions, Rebecca Steinitz describes what it’s like believing for years that smells are a poetic fiction invented for books—and how lacking this particular sense may somehow make her a better editor....more
The Millions “asked nine English scholars to choose one novel as the greatest our country has ever produced.”
The results span a wide range subjects, authors, and time periods.
Most you’ve heard of, a few you haven’t, but all of them dig into the American experience in rich and troubling ways....more
Remember the Steve Almond essay “Lost and Found” from back in 2009?
It was about a novel by John Williams (not the Star Wars composer) called Stoner (not like the marijuana enthusiast), which, though underappreciated by the world at large, bowled Almond over with its “tender and ruthless honesty.”
At The Millions, Claire Cameron has reopened the topic for discussion with a detailed history of a book that is somehow simultaneously universally praised and universally ignored....more
Want to see the new film version of The Great Gatsby but afraid it won’t live up to the book?
At The Millions, five English professors pass judgment on the success of the adaptation.
Read it to find out what additional source material Baz Luhrmann drew on and whether Carey Mulligan breathed a life into the role of Daisy that “honestly, Fitzgerald didn’t.”...more
Arguably, no other story has been made to express absolute black and absolute white as clearly as World War II. So how can an artist integrate the textures of grey that make a story truly poignant?
In an essay for The Millions, Charles-Adam Foster-Simard reviews an Art Spiegelman exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery called “CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps.”
It’s as good a reason as any to explore the medium of graphic novels and the difficulty of making art about the Holocaust, and Foster-Simard does so in a way that really illuminates Spiegelman’s impact on comics and literature....more
“Why are they still bothering with paperbacks?” This came from a coffee-shop acquaintance when he heard my book was soon to come out in paperback, nine months after its hardcover release. “Anyone who wants it half price already bought it on ebook, or Amazon.”
At The Millions, Nicole Bernier writes about the point of the paperback....more
It always feels like society is crumbling when big linguistic changes occur, but as Megan Garber points out, even notorious grammar stickler William Safire advised rewriting sentences to avoid using the objective-case equivalent of “who.”
If “whom” really did die out, traditionalists would mourn, but at least they wouldn’t have to deal with people overcorrecting in an attempt to sound formal....more
Teenagers aren’t exactly renowned for pouring out their feelings to the adults in their lives.
“It makes me think that this is why The Catcher in the Rye is a classic,” writes Carolyn Ross at The Millions. “People are just so thrilled to hear a teenage boy’s thoughts.”
But you can always get at least a little insight into someone’s thoughts by looking at the books they like, and as a high-school teacher, Ross knows what books teenage boys like....more
Our friends over at The Millions are branching out: in addition to the features on their fantastic website, they’re starting to publish ebooks.
The inaugural volume is called Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever, but judging by the excerpt they’ve posted, there’s nothing fail about it....more
Instead of trying to wrestle a year’s worth of literature into one tidy little list, The Millions has asked various writers to simply discuss anything good they read this year, whether it was new or old or in between.
So far, people like Emma Straub, Choire Sicha, and Jeffrey Eugenides have weighed in (who knew Sicha was such a sci-fi fan?), and we’ll get more as the month continues....more
Mark O’Connell tells a fascinating story in The Millions about his encounter with a recently released murderer, Malcolm MacArthur.
O’Connell grew up hearing and reading stories about MacArthur murders, but his favorite is a fictional novel, The Book of Evidence, whose main character, Freddie Montgomery, is based on MacArthur....more
Last week was the National Book Foundation Awards Ceremony.
At The Millions, Bill Morris narrates the event and cheers on underdog Domingo Martinez, author of the memoir The Boy Kings of Texas who lost in the non-fiction category to Kathrine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers....more
For those of you who are trying to make the slow transition from political anxiety back to the relative feather mattress of literary intrigue, The Millions has a list of “The Unelectable in Literature,” a delicious selection of characters (fictional or not) who wouldn’t stand a chance....more
“That’s what authority is. When you’re actually writing from that deepest place within you, if you tell the truth, you’re using your greatest power and your greatest authority....more
If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to be a cataloger of an author’s work, much less David Foster Wallace’s final book, you may want to give Jenn Shapland’s gorgeous essay, “The Human Heart is a Chump: Cataloging The Pale King” a going over....more
“As an NYC neophyte, it seemed to me that The Rumpus really does love New York. And from my vantage at the back of the crowd, enjoying some of my favorite authors (and decent drinks) while rubbing elbows with fellow members of the literati, it looked as though New York loved The Rumpus right back.”...more
The Millions featured David Abrams in their Post-40 Bloomer column and chronicle the 49-year-olds long road to literary success.
Fobbit, Abrams’s first novel, came out from Grove/Atlantic on Sept. 4 and is “is a tale of the Iraq war that manages to be as dark as it is funny, which is to say considerably.” Abrams spent 20 years as a active duty Army journalist recounts his time in Irag as a fobbit, army speak for desk jockeys who stick close to the relative safe haven of a Forward Operating Base....more
The Millions allows readers the opening paragraphs of DT Max’s David Foster Wallace biography:
“The Wallaces ate at 5:45 p.m. Afterward, Jim Wallace would read stories to Amy and David. And then every night the children would get fifteen minutes each in their beds to talk to Sally about anything that was on their minds....more
If you’re still reading paper books—and more notably, hardbacks—you’ve probably noticed some of the pages look a little rough around the edges.
Two years ago, The Millions published a piece on the “deckle edge,” a byproduct of the paper-making process that causes book pages to appear worn....more
“Sugar forces us to swallow sometimes painful realizations about what we want, who we are, and what we therefore must do — or, if not that, the choices we must make....more