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Posts Tagged: The Atlantic

Girly, Arty Angst

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At the Atlantic, Amy Weiss-Meyer discusses debut authors Rebecca Schiff and Abigail Ulman, placing them, along with writer Lena Dunham, in a group of authors that critic Harold Rosenberg calls a “mass culture of individuals:” Theirs is a literary ecosystem fueled by the dream of achieving viral acclaim—of appealing to the masses by parading one’s exquisite, […]

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Self-Publishing Leads to Plagiarism

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Self-publishing has never been easier, and that means plagiarism has never been easier. Thieves are using self-publishing services like Amazon to republish back catalog or out-of-print books to sell for a profit. In some case these “authors” change minor things like character names, but not always. The thieves are able to sell titles on Amazon for […]

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Lessons from Frog and Toad

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At the Atlantic, Bert Clere reflects on Arnold Lobel’s children’s books, Frog and Toad and Owl at Home, the lessons these stories try to teach, and the representation of the self in each of them: Although Frog and Toad’s world is perhaps more pastoral than that of their average reader, most can recognize and relate to the situations […]

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No Pronouns

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Using Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, as a springboard, Stephanie Hayes explores the superpowers of gender-blank characters for the Atlantic. Sphinx’s recent translator, Emma Ramadan, describes how what began as an Oulipan constraint to avoid gender became a freedom from preconceived notions of male and female, and sometimes, a guessing game. When gender’s not there, it […]

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Homeward Unbound

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Some would argue that the loss of privacy is a small price to pay to have your voice heard on an international scale. But over at the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes honestly and unpretentiously about his difficulties returning home as a prominent literary figure, and how his sudden visibility carries a safety concern particular to being a […]

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Better Funding Boosts Library Usage

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Library use has been declining, but that decline probably isn’t due to a decreasing interest in reading. Plenty of pundits blame the rise of digital technology, but even libraries that offer digital services like ebook lending have seen declines. The real culprit is the same crisis afflicting all of American infrastructure: a lack of investment. The Institute of […]

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Writing in a Digital Age

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Moleskine has recently come out with a digital notebook and smart-pen that transcribes one’s writing onto their smartphone—seemingly going against their ethos of the importance of pen and paper. Katharine Schwab reckons with this new development, and the fascinating popularity of Moleskine, over at the Atlantic: It’s easy to wax philosophical about the role paper can play […]

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Broadway-Blues-Bad Casting

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Ever since Zoe Saldana was set to play Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina, controversy has surrounded the casting choice. Writing in the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates says that the issue isn’t just about Saldana’s lighter skin tone, but the erasure of Simone’s facial features and what it says about America’s racist beauty standards: Saldana […]

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Agents and Editors and Readers! Oh My!

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At Electric Literature, Lincoln Michel offers a sharp response to a recent Atlantic article that explores how MFA programs have influenced contemporary literature: The MFA is only two to three years out of a writer’s life. Those years don’t outweigh decades of signaling from the publishing industry, major newspapers, and magazines about what type of fiction is popular […]

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A Note about Love

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Elegance is a refinement of simplicity rather than a flourish of excess. Elegance prompts wit rather than comedy, sentiment rather than sentimentality. Such restraint is the lens through which all the diffuse sensations of desire are focused into the flame of passion. The Atlantic has a short how-to guide for writing the perfect love letter. […]

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Rihanna’s Anti Capitalist Strategy

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Although it marks a turn away from the hit-heavy model of a record industry money-maker, Rihanna’s Anti is still a calculated capitalist move, and the Atlantic explains how. In an editorial examination of record release strategies, the Atlantic connects the dots between Samsung’s sponsorship of the new record and how Rihanna is making money by giving the new […]

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It’s Literally Fine

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At the Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance defends teenagers’ ever-maligned contributions to the lexicon, citing a recent student that examines the extent to which teens influence linguistic change: And the thing about linguistic changes is they can’t exactly be stopped in any sort of deliberate way…Even old-school grammar geeks are warming up to “they” as an acceptable […]

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A New Nancy Drew

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An actress of color is predicted to play Nancy Drew in the upcoming CBS adaptation of Nancy Drew. At the Atlantic, Lenika Cruz reflects on this decision: The announcement will do little to quell fears that the future of entertainment will primarily be reboots, sequels, origin stories, prequels, and remakes; dooming audiences to year after year […]

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Art Is Not A Formula

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Electric Literature’s Lincoln Michel writes a rebuttal to a recent Atlantic article “All Stories Are The Same,” which attempts to reduce stories to basic formulas. Michel argues: These self-congratulatory attempts to reduce art to formula rarely tell us anything useful about stories. These formulas don’t tell us how stories function or how different narratives affect readers. They don’t tell […]

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The Magical World of Children’s Literature

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Over at the Atlantic, Colleen Gillard takes a critical look at the differences between British and American children’s stories. While British stories for children tend to be rooted in fantasy and folklore, she writes, American children’s classics tend to be more grounded in realism. “Each style has its virtues, but the British approach undoubtedly yields the […]

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Greatest Hits of the Heart

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Patience. Curiosity. Repetition. Looking again and again. Not imposing a story line. Letting composition emerge through pattern, rhythm, shape, sound, movement. Occasionally … you hit upon a moment of grace. You can’t plan for it. You just have to practice enough so that you’re ready when it comes. The Atlantic has compiled a list of […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz

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Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.”

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The Human Voice to the Rescue

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At the Atlantic, Joe Fassler speaks with author Kevin Barry about the future of fiction. According to Barry, the “best hope” for building interest in fiction in a world “distracted” by technology is through audio storytelling: But one thing can still arrest us, slow us down, and stop us in our tracks: the human voice. I […]

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Why Commercial Success Gets Criticized As Sentimental

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Perhaps it is because there are so few proven paths to success, and so little success to go around, that when an acclaimed novelist actually succeeds on a large scale, highbrow critics can become vicious. While the novels praised as “literary” by the critics rarely fly off bookstore shelves to become commercial successes, novels that […]

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Famous Rejections Show Publishing’s Shortcomings

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Rejection is often cited as an essential part of writing. Rejection is even celebrated, as if great works must be first overlooked and then pulled from obscurity. Consider Marlon James, 2015 Man Booker Prize winner: his first manuscript was rejected eighty times. But writers shouldn’t romanticize rejection, says Kavita Das, because it speaks to a fundamentally broken […]

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