I met one of my favorite writers before she ever published a single story. We were classmates vying for our MFAs in Creative Writing from Florida International University and would smile at each other from across the room. She was shy, but never defensive, in workshop and always strove, really made the effort, to answer questions about her work and decisions on the page as fully as she could....more
Posts Tagged: the stranger
Why is it that knowing how to remain alone in Paris for a year in a miserable room teaches a man more than a hundred literary salons and forty years’ experience of ‘Parisian life’?
Over at the Paris Review Daily, Alice Kaplan, author of the new biography Looking for the Stranger, writes about Albert Camus’s time in Paris, from the months he spent in a Montmartre hotel room toiling his way through the first draft of The Stranger to his return to report on and fight the German occupation....more
At The Stranger, Rich Smith describes the Till Writer’s Residency program at Smoke Farm in Arlington, Washington. Unlike most residency programs, which are expensive and require writers to pay for travel, the Till Residency is affordable and aims to provide a learning space for all kinds of writers:
Till Residency at Smoke Farm, an annual four-day stay in Arlington, serves as the organization’s centerpiece.
Lit Hub has just released Book Marks, a book review aggregator which provides a grading system for books. At The Stranger, Rich Smith talks about what this means, grade inflation, and more:
The point of a book review isn’t to sell books or trick people into reading books.
For The Stranger, Rich Smith reviews Even Though the Whole World Is Burning, the film about poet W.S. Merwin and his life as a conservationist in Hawaii:
The film glorifies Merwin as a giver of life, a distinction that invites an eye roll.
These “little theaters of heat,” these packets of desire or panic or imminence, these doublings-down of doubt and upswellings of confidence—these concentrations of feeling are Greenwell’s subject.
For The Stranger, Rich Smith justifies Oxford Dictionaries’s choice for the UK’s Word of the Year: an emoji. Although OD has been getting backlash from critics lamenting “the death of language, the end of the world, etc.,” Smith claims that emojis are just like words in the way that they evoke feelings:
…to address those who don’t think an emoji is a word: words are signs that point to things or ideas in the world.
It’s about how “Show us your humanity!” is more belittling and damaging than “Show us your tits!”
At The Stranger, Conner Habib argues that anti-sex activists are actually just bigots out to marginalize and oppress sex workers....more
Many of us choose to pursue MFAs; many of us are also plagued with doubts about the value of a degree in creative writing. Former teacher Ryan Boudinot shares his thoughts about programs, publishing, and the unlikely chance that you’re the Real Deal:
I think the instant validation of our apps is an enemy to producing the kind of writing that takes years to complete… If you’re able to continue writing while embracing the assumption that no one will ever read your work, it will reward you in ways you never imagined.
In our daily efforts to stay healthy, to invent solutions for staving off death, have we already put ourselves in treatment for diseases yet to come? Conner Habib writes about his cancer diagnosis over at The Stranger, challenging Susan Sontag’s argument against seeing illness as a metaphor by revealing the ways in which we can’t help but give it meaning:
We reach out to the hand that promises to pull us to shore.
Art journalist Jen Graves was dismayed to discover she had been lied to by someone claiming to be an outsider artist who in fact had a fairly well-established career.
But when she began to look more closely at lies other artists had told (or not told, to their detriment), she realized fraud in the art world wasn’t as simple as it seemed....more
Slate‘s recurring feature “The Longform Guide to…,” curated by Longform.org, is usually fascinating, and the most recent installment is no exception.
In “honor” of the revelation that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend never existed, Max Linsky leads us through a maze of stories on Internet hoaxes....more
At The Stranger, Dave Segal and other Seattle musicians commemorate the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’s On The Corner.
“Grooves solid as diamonds with freaked-out tendrils that wrap around your soul and poke at you where you least expect to be poked....more
Here’s more fuel for the dialogue on brick and mortar bookstores and their integral role in creating and supporting the literary community. HTML Giant’s got a double dose of input on the subject—a video of Matthew Stadler delineating the difference between readers and shoppers, and an essay in The Stranger by Paul Constant, encouraging us to take action....more
This week in New York David Grossman translates with Paul Auster, Justin Taylor and Eva Tamladge exhibit tattoos for the literary inclined, Tao Lin reads, Guernica celebrates, Bill Bryson is Private, Rick Moody joins the Sunday Salon, Catfish is the SATURDAY MOVIE PICK, and James Frey combines Dante, literature, and ART....more
Winter has finally come to south Florida, which means I’ll spend part of the afternoon moving our pepper plants indoors, to protect them from the bitter 40 degree weather that’s dropping by for a day or two. Don’t hate.
I tried fantasy football a couple of times and couldn’t figure it out....more