This year’s children’s literature has some exceptional bonafides. Over the next few months, a number of acclaimed novelists, including Jane Smiley and Elena Ferrante, will be publishing children’s books. Whether a five-year-old can distinguish between literary and genre fiction, only time will tell....more
Posts Tagged: the new york times
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley published a new study about brain activity in people listening to podcasts, the New York Times reported. “Using novel computational methods, the group broke down the stories into units of meaning: social elements, for example, like friends and parties, as well as locations and emotions....more
“All plots tend to move deathward,” the narrator of “White Noise” says. “This is the nature of plots. Political plots, terrorist plots, lovers’ plots, narrative plots, plots that are part of children’s games. We edge nearer death every time we plot.
China has issued a ban on foreign-owned media from publishing online within the nation. Global news agencies like Reuters, Dow Jones, the New York Times, and Bloomberg have invested considerable sums in building bureaus in the country. The foreign media ban is another step in reversing the nation’s loosening of censorship laws....more
But it was another truth — the humility of that kitchen, confronting what I didn’t know — that has felt most resonant across my writing life.
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.
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.
“The year without a summer,” as 1816 came to be known, gave birth not only to paintings of fiery sunsets and tempestuous skies but two genres of gothic fiction. The freakish progeny were Frankenstein and the human vampire, which have loomed large in art and literature ever since.
When we read this poem in an anthology, we tend not to think of the chickens as real chickens, but as platonic chickens, some ideal thing,” William Logan, the scholar who recently discovered Mr. Marshall’s identity, said in an interview.
It’s a rare feat to be able to locate the tangible sources of inspirations of poetry....more
All of which adds up to a place that produces writers the way France produces cheese — prodigiously, and with world-class excellence — a place that calls on its writers’ talent and inspiration and, in turn, is reflected back into the world through their words.
In a world where the selfie has become our dominant art form, tautological phrases like “You do you” and its tribe provide a philosophical scaffolding for our ever-evolving, ever more complicated narcissism.
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.
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....more