Posts by: Maria Chiang

Bechdel Interview and New Book Sneak Peek

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Cartoonist Alison Bechdel was recently interviewed (by University of Chicago professor and comics scholar Hillary Chute) about her comics making process and forthcoming book Are You My Mother (Houghton Mifflin, May 2012).  You can observe Bechdel as she is working on the third chapter — inking in the lettering, sharing a chart she developed for her […]

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“The Situation in American Writing”

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“The Situation in American Writing” is a questionnaire (based on The Partisan Review‘s in 1939) that Full Stop has sent out to dozens of authors: “These questions are provocative because, at heart, they are deeply earnest. A number of questions were met with resistance and dismissal—but resistance and dismissal are both fascinating and indicative responses […]

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The Love Does Not Stop…

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“Each of the Popper men is to a large degree confounded by love. The women they desire, invariably plucky and self-possessed, have to work to stave off being swallowed whole by their men. “Love and Shame and Love’’ offers no explanations for what so mysteriously arrives and sometimes disappears. “Why?’’ the Popper men want to […]

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Myths About Introverts

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“Myth #5: Introverts don’t like to go out in public. “Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long […]

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More Love for Love and Shame and Love

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“That’s one of the refreshing aspects of Peter Orner’s Love and Shame and Love: It isn’t a political novel per se, but the Chicago men and women who inhabit these pages exist in a world we recognize, where government is as common a topic of thought and conversation as relationships, work and kids.” The Washington […]

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This Is Your Brain on Jokes

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“Well, anytime you find yourself making an error, it’s a downer initially. The initial emotional response to any discovery of error in your understanding of the world has got to be ‘uh oh.’ But in humor, the brain doesn’t just discover a false inference, it almost simultaneously recovers and corrects itself. It gets the joke. […]

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Kafka Was a Legal Secretary

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“It’s the stuff of dreams: proof that those evenings spent hunched over a desk, typing furiously might, just might, not be in vain; that Paul Giamatti’s character from Sideways does not represent an undiscovered middle-aged writer’s inevitable fate.” The Atlantic explores the former occupations of authors to answer the question: “When Does a Writer Become […]

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Norman Mailer on Marilyn Monroe

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“But when the portraits are all juxtaposed with Norman Mailer’s muscular descriptions of the traumas of her childhood, the whole thing is just too brutal. Mailer relates how, by Monroe’s own admission, her grandmother tried to suffocate her with a pillow at two years old; he revisits the story of the crazed mother who left […]

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Catholics in Literature

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“Yet despite such a rich Catholic literary heritage with many contemporary admirers — one can’t help thinking of how passionately the MFA/Creative Writing/Workshop establishment venerates the stories of Flannery O’Connor — there has not been a new generation of Catholic writers to take up Percy’s vision, one where their inherent ‘otherness’ is not edged to […]

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Kerouac’s First Novel Now Published

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“The 158-page The Sea is My Brother, a tale of two young men serving on a voyage from Boston to Greenland, has been known about for some time, but is being described by Penguin, its publisher, as ‘a unique insight into the young Kerouac and the formation of his genius.’ “The author himself apparently noted: […]

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Thanksgiving Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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In cased you missed these over the holiday weekend: A Rumpus original essay on Freddie Mercury. The latest Albums of Our Lives: Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Sugar compiles 94 ways of Saying Thank You from Rumpus readers for her #90th column.

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TIME Difference

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Americans are oftentimes painted as ethnocentric and unaware of global issues,  and this interesting photo, comparing cover images of Time Magazine for U.S. residents versus the rest of the world, isn’t helping.

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Cultivating a Scruffy Image

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“Vonnegut’s genius was to stake out this experience of anticlimax as his novelistic territory. His heroes are bemused bit players whose lives are measured by their distance from great affairs, rather than their proximity to them. It is a worldview inverted in favor of the little guy, and it is as hostile to change as […]

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More Burgess

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“Manchester-born Anthony Burgess, who died in 1993, wrote at least 33 novels, 25 works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies, and more than 250 other musical works including a piano concerto, a ballet and stage musicals. “But more is coming to light every day.” Next year is the 50th Anniversary of A Clockwork […]

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Real David Crockett

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“Wallis points out early on that Crockett was most definitely not ‘born on a mountain top’ and only started wearing his iconic coonskin cap when he needed to boost his public visibility and stay politically relevant. Literally turn the page, and next thing we know our hero is describing mortal combat with a giant angry […]

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Leonardo da Vinci’s To Do List

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“‘It is useful,’ Leonardo wrote, to ‘constantly observe, note, and consider.’ But when you are Leonardo, what sorts of things are buzzing around in your head? Well, Toby Lester describes what is essentially a ‘To Do’ list buried in one of those notebooks, a bunch of things Leonardo planned to do one week, or month, […]

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Neuroscience vs. The Novel

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“All fiction has at its heart the enigma of character. Its most basic pleasures involve analyzing how human beings act, speculating as to what motivates their actions, and, ultimately, judging those actions. What happens if science largely co-opts the first two projects, and undermines the legitimacy of the third?” As the neuroscience field continues to […]

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Harsh Rejections

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“Prescience is no hard science, but hindsight can be a kick in the shins nonetheless, especially for the editors who sent these rejection letters to writers who would later become the bestselling, influential giants of their day—and ours.” The Atlantic posts “Famous Authors’ Harshest Rejection Letters,” a friendly reminder that rejection happens to the best […]

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Fleshbot For Sale

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“Gawker Media chief Nick Denton told All Things D this morning that Fleshbot ‘Just hadn’t fit for a long long time’ but that he held onto the property ‘because [he was] slow to realize the inevitable.’” First of all, that’s what she said.  Secondly, Fleshbot’s for sale!

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Occupy UC Davis Roundup

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This past Friday, November 18th, peacefully protesting UC Davis students were relentlessly pepper-sprayed.  This is one of the videos that has caught the nation’s attention. Watch: Students stand silently in protest on Saturday as UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi walks to her car. Here is a summary of the two events. The UC Davis Officer […]

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Literal Literary Characters

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“We all know truth is stranger than fiction, and some things (and people) are just too good to have been made up. We’ve already shown you quirky cartoon characters based on real people, and though we imagine there are many more life-to-literature adaptations than life-to-cartoon, we’ve decided to continue the trend and pick some of […]

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A New Column from Michelle Tea

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“Hi. My name is Michelle Tea. I turned 40 this year and realized I forgot to have a child. Now I am trying to get pregnant before all my eggs dry up. Do you know what happens to your eggs in your 40s? Google it. Or don’t, just come with me as I learn all […]

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Rome, Then

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“Unlike the aged books and dead writers who have come to Rome, current writing by foreigners about or set in Italy tends not to add to my knowledge or interest me. Judging by the bookshelves, Rome has been condensed into a mere repetition of themes: what tasty food, passionate people, beautiful art, ancient ruins, and […]

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“Try Not to Cry on Your Pasta”

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“Some people have a legitimate reason to feel depressed, but not me. I just woke up one day feeling sad and helpless for absolutely no reason.” “Adventures in Depression” by Allie is a comic following a character’s experience with unfounded depression. You can check it out here.

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Defoe’s Zombieless Zombie Narrative

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“Defoe’s novel, published in 1722, is a mutant factual-fiction that recounts the plague epidemic of 1665, which dispatched almost 100,000 Londoners. Purporting to be the ‘memorial’ of a survivor known only as ‘H.F.’, it was based on genuine documentary sources, including the diary of Defoe’s uncle.” Lapham’s Quarterly explores how Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the […]

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Higher Education: Coming and Going

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“Many—perhaps most—books on the American university fall into two categories. Jeremiads seem to pop off the presses every week. A fair number of them conform to a single type, one that embraces books as varied in their origins as The Faculty Lounges (2011), a blast at professors written by a distinguished journalist, Naomi Schaefer Riley, […]

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Adam Gopnik Interview

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“A prolific writer, Adam Gopnik has left almost no topic untouched, from Darwin and Lincoln to—not necessarily in that order – Mark Twain, Marx (Groucho), W.H. Auden, James Taylor, leaving New York for Paris, leaving Paris for New York, dogs, razors, artificial intelligence, libraries, Babar, snowflakes, fireflies, shopping, museums, magicians, 9/11, the DSK scandal (on […]

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Ode to Chicago – Love and Shame and Love

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“Though Peter Orner is quite purposeful and precise in his nonlinear approach to storytelling, reading his latest novel Love and Shame and Love can evoke the sensation of unpacking a box full of memories.” Chicago Tribune reviews this month’s Rumpus Book Club Selection Love and Shame and Love, describing Orner’s latest work as “an ode […]

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Hungryman Gallery Poetry Reading

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Rumpus contributor Jesse Nathan will be reading poetry alongside Zubair Ahmed and Yosefa Raz (two other young Bay Area poets) as part of the closing reception for Impact.   The event takes place this Saturday, November 19th, at Hungryman Gallery located in the Mission (485 14th St, San Francisco), from 6-10pm.  The poetry reading begins at […]

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Blueprints of the Afterlife Website Launch

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Rumpus Columnist Ryan Boudinot’s new book Blueprints of the Afterlife (which he discussed in an interview in July) now has a website! Be on the lookout for new blogs and event updates as the release date, January 3rd, approaches.  Other features include a reference library as well as architectural renderings.  There’s even an email you […]

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