Posts Tagged: the new york times

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Conversations with Writers Braver than Me #18: Anne Roiphe

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Anne Roiphe on respecting writers’ freedom to express the truth of their experiences, while also respecting their subjects’ prerogative to shun them for it. ...more

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The Big Idea #11: Mark Bittman

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Suzanne Koven talks to food journalist, author, and activist Mark Bittman about his “Big Idea”—how food has changed in the last fifty years, and how to teach our children to eat better. ...more

Time Travel in the Antarctic

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In the latest installment of the New York Times‘s Sunday Book Review, Caroline Alexander writes an elegant review of Rebecca Hunt’s Everland, a novel about two expeditions in the Antarctic that take place more than a century apart:

Her careful control of the narratives and dramatic pacing keeps the tension in each story steadily escalating.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: On Madness and Mad Men

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In my eight years as a Mad Men fan, the series has repeatedly prompted me to reflect on parenting. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Melissa Gira Grant

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Melissa Gira Grant talks sex workers’ rights, labor politics, the novelty of women’s sexuality, and her book, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. ...more

Sacred Literature

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For the New York Times, Alexandra Alter interviews Salman Rushdie about his new novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. Their discussion covers the stylistic choices that went into the novel, as well as the role of mythology and polytheistic religions in Rushdie’s larger body of work:

Ideas are interesting to me, and religions are a place where ideas have been very subtly embodied for thousands of years.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Informing Form

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She was a physical, as opposed to a media, reality to me—someone with a voice to be addressed rather than a flattened image. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Joshua Mohr and Janis Cooke Newman

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Authors Joshua Mohr and Janis Cooke Newman talk with one another about their new novels, All This Life and A Master Plan for Rescue, respectively. ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Stepfatherhood

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“He was my real dad,” she says. “I just happened to have two.” ...more

Mirrors and Windows

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Jacqueline Woodson responds to Daniel Handler’s racist watermelon joke at the National Book Awards with a moving and direct piece in the New York Times. She neither condemns nor forgives Handler, but instead focuses on her personal history with the watermelon joke, the positive direction of diversity in publishing, and her mission in writing:

This mission is what’s been passed down to me — to write stories that have been historically absent in this country’s body of literature, to create mirrors for the people who so rarely see themselves inside contemporary fiction, and windows for those who think we are no more than the stereotypes they’re so afraid of.

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The Lost Pulp of Gore Vidal

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Before he became an acclaimed novelist and political commentator, Gore Vidal was just a guy trying to make ends meet. Under three different pseudonyms, Vidal wrote a romance novel, three mysteries, and a crime thriller. Now, over 50 years later,  Thieves Fall Out, a pulp novel set during the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, is being re-issued, this time with Vidal’s name on the cover.

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Learning from Books that Are Supposedly Terrible

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As any lover of literature might tell you, all books are not created equal. But this does not mean that there is nothing to be gained from novels that are, in many ways, flawed. Over at the New York Timeswriters Leslie Jamison and James Parker discuss “supposedly terrible books that left a lasting impression”:

I will always love Go Ask Alice for the very qualities that make it an aesthetic failure.

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From True Love to Ambivalence

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Think your love of certain passages will never fade? The New York Times Sunday Book Review argues that perhaps not all passages will withstand the test of time. How much does age change what we love?

If you’re the sort of person who has always marked up your books — written comments in the margins and underlined passages that you particularly like — you will end up, in middle age, owning a lot of books inscribed with the remarks and reactions of a much younger you.

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Absent Characters

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People of color have been largely excluded from children’s literature. Of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 93 featured black characters. In his essay, “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” Christopher Myers speaks out against the trend of allowing members of certain racial groups to go unseen because of the color of their skin.

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The Academic Writing Debate

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At the end of last month, Nicholas Kristof published a piece in the New York Times calling for academics to come out from their insular bubble and participate in the mainstream conversation—especially with respect to writing. Joshua Rothman responded in the New Yorker that academic writing is only as “knotty and strange, remote and insular, technical and specialized, forbidding and clannish” as the academy itself.

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Mark Twain Still Popular…In China!

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Did you know that Mark Twain is one of the best known foreign writers in China? Neither did we. There is a well earned, and unabashed image of Mark Twain as the quintessential American author and for good reason. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains in the American cannon and is taught all over the country however it was a lesser known story of his that has him being taught along side of Mao Zedong.

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