A tranquil beach town named Jarmuli is the setting of Anuradha Roy’s third novel, Sleeping on Jupiter, which won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and made the longlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Four older women travel as friends in search of a bucolic vacation, and a young woman, contending with the […]
Who else can write a story like that? Over at Lit Hub, Elizabeth Poliner, author of As Close to Us as Breathing, writes about her formative years as a writer: diagramming Alice Munro short stories to get a better sense of appreciation, craft, and sheer awe.
Over at The Toast, Rebecca Turkewitz writes about the intersections between literary geography and the real, from Joyce’s Dublin and Tolkien’s Middle Europe to Faulkner’s Mississippi and Munro’s Ontario—how we explore these places by walking through pages, and how they map to our homes and street corners.
With giddiness over the National League Championship, Lit Hub imagines the amusing fantasy lineup of players if the baseball teams were made up entirely of writers. Pitting Jennifer Egan and George Saunders against Malcolm Gladwell and Alice Munro, the list is an entertaining interpretation of writers’ styles translating into athletic skill.
On Wednesday, Joyland published “You Said ‘Always’” an excerpt from Ester Bloom’s novel-in-progress, The Sex Lives of Other People. In the story, which has the momentous feel of the novel’s opening, the narrator, Annie, gets dumped by her boyfriend after a night of sex, turned down by her soon-to-be ex-husband, disappointed by her sister on […]
On Tuesday, Margaret Atwood released Stone Mattress, a collection of “wonderfully weird short stories.” Stone Mattress is Atwood’s eighth collection of stories, not to mention her 14 novels and other formidable volumes of poetry, children’s literature, and nonfiction. Reviewers across the boards are heralding this most recent work as “wise, sharp,” and “rich.” Let’s look at […]
Alice Munro’s birthday was last week (happy belated, Alice!). She’s also Elliott Holt‘s favorite writer, and over at Literary Mothers, Elliott wrote a beautiful letter to her: Your stories provide deeply private pleasures. You are our writer, part of our family. Now that you’ve won the Nobel, even more people have joined our ranks. And I’m […]
Coming off the holiday weekend, the trusted dispensary of short fiction, Joyland, published “The History of Hanging Out” by Kevin Mandel. Mandel’s story lives up to its title, encapsulating the bundled, sparking energies of a group of young creators. If you’ve ever started a band or a literary magazine, you’ll recognize yourself and your gang in this […]
Depictions of death in short stories can challenge even seasoned writers. John McDonough, writing in the Colorado Review, explains why: The immediacy of the death of a loved one offers rich emotional possibilities, but ones that are remarkably complicated. Mine these emotions too heavily and you run the risk of sentimentality, but too cautious an […]
I’ll say it: [“Idiots First”] is the most moving American story ever written. (Until I change my mind.) For online magazine Ozy, Rumpus columnist Peter Orner collects some of his very favorite short stories. They range from North American classics by Bernard Malamud and Alice Munro to work by Mexican author Juan Rulfo and murdered South […]
The prospect of publication, the urgent need, as they see it, to publish as soon as possible, colors everything [my students] do….It will be hard for those who have never suffered this obsession to appreciate how all-conditioning and all-consuming it can be. Why are unpublished writers mocked and published writers respected, even by people who […]
Having a social life on weekends is fun, but what if you missed our killer Rumpus weekend features?! No worries, we’ve collected them for you here. On Saturday, Shawn Andrew Mitchell reviewed Dark Lies the Island by recent Rumpus interviewee Kevin Barry: In one paragraph a poet-narrator might describe how “the sky had shucked the last […]
I wouldn’t be much of a book columnist if I didn’t celebrate Alice Munro and her much deserved Nobel Prize for Literature. It surprises me, the number of people who have never read Munro. If you’re one of them, you might start here. In 2004, Jonathan Franzen made an appeal in The New York Times […]