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Posts Tagged: The Guardian

Keep Minor Characters Minor

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At the Guardian, Charlotte Jones takes issue with the recently announced Pride and Prejudice sequel fleshing out the life of Mary Bennett—a character whose neglect is central to Austin’s plot: The singularity of Elizabeth Bennett, after all – the reason she so often features in lists of our favourite literary characters – relies solely upon […]

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The Chosen One

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Colson Whitehead’s new novel, The Underground Railroad, was announced as an Oprah’s Book Club selection on the day of its release. Speaking to Michelle Dean in the Guardian, Whitehead discusses his reaction to the news:  “I called her back and she said: ‘Oprah.’ I said: ‘Shut the front door,’ because I didn’t want to curse. She said: […]

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Stable Decline

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According to an article by Alison Flood in the Guardian, library use in England has fallen almost 31 percent over the past decade, with one notable exception: Adults in the least deprived areas of England saw their library usage decline the most over the decade, from 46.3% to 31.4%, while according to the report, library usage […]

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Anti-Blackness in Sci-Fi Publishing

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Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process.

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Down, Out, and “Paved With Anguish”

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At the Guardian, Tim Cooke investigates why writers’ experiences with homelessness and destitution fascinates readers: So what is the attraction of being down and out? For some, the prospect of real, hard-hitting subject matter has proved irresistible, while for others the route to the streets has been paved with anguish. Historically, those who have deliberately flung […]

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Fiction’s Rise of Female Friendships

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Readers are shifting focus from outdated gender expectations and conceptions of identity, and as a result, complex, non-compartmentalized female friendships are blooming in fiction. Books about these friendships are spaces for female writers and readers to explore the complexity of their relationships and selves without the influence of men, whose presence can quickly turn a […]

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Virgil for All

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As part of its ongoing project to digitize its library of more than 80,000 manuscripts, the Vatican has recently digitized a 1,600-year-old edition of Virgil’s Aeneid. Only 76 pages survive what was likely a complete collection of Virgil’s work. Part of the drive to digitize comes from the hope that with digital copies of rare, ancient […]

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Belles of the Box Office

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The multifaceted Kirsten Dunst is going to direct a new film version of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and the lovely Dakota Fanning is set to star in it, the Guardian reports. “Dunst has co-written the film with Nellie Kim, while Fanning is a co-producer; shooting is scheduled to begin in early 2017,” the article […]

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Rest in Peace, Scotty Moore

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Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist passed away this week in Nashville at the age of 84, and in tribute the Guardian has published a piece discussing how the musician shaped Elvis’s country-blues rockabilly sound so evident in songs like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Mystery Train,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” Scotty Moore’s legacy can possibly best be mapped […]

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Censorship in Ukraine

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During anti-government protests in the Ukraine in 2013 and 2014, Oleh Shynkarenko, a journalist and blogger, found himself turning to Facebook after some of his blog posts were deleted, presumably by security forces. What he shared was a novel about about a man whose brain was controlled by the Russian government, published in 100-word snippets on the social […]

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Love at First Book

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For the Guardian, Alison Flood reports that users who share reading interests on a new dating app improve their chances of finding a good match: I’m not sure about the sexy transformation, but I do know that whether it’s with a friend or a partner, there’s little better than discovering a shared love of an author, […]

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The Detainees’ Tales

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A group of authors in Britain is using the format of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales to raise awareness of the plight of modern-day refugees: They don’t feel safe enough to share their stories themselves … but they have a tremendous frustration at being voiceless. So we came up with the idea of using The Canterbury Tales as a model of journeying and […]

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Melodrama

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Members of the Brontë Society, which maintains the historical Bronte homestead in Haworth, England, “seem to have split into two factions, the ‘modernisers’ and the ‘conservatives,’ who are now battling for the society’s soul.” A recent meeting involved much shouting, booing, and an (unsuccessful) attempt to exclude a journalist. All of this may be getting the society […]

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Liberal Censorship

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In May, Portland’s school board voted to ban textbooks that questioned the severity and human causes of climate change, drawing criticism not only from the right, but from free-speech advocates as well: “Social studies texts accurately describing the political debate around fossil fuels and climate change, for instance, would presumably contain comments from individuals who […]

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Rabid Puppies Butt Invasion

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The Rabid Puppies, an MRA group trying to overthrow the “progressive conspiracy” poisoning the Hugo Awards for the second year in a row, have continued their fearless activism by nominating Chuck Tingle’s Space Raptor Butt Invasion for Best Novelette. Tingle, author of erotic novelettes such as Unicorn Butt Cops: Beach Patrol and Glazed By The […]

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Writing Badly

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Bad writing is almost always a love poem addressed by the self to the self. The person who will admire it first and last and most is the writer herself. Over at the Guardian, writer Toby Litt explores what makes bad writing so terrible. Not only is bad writing boring and “written defensively,” but “bad […]

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Where Books Meet Their Ends

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For the Guardian, Sam Jordison draws parallels between Don DeLillo’s previous novels (White Noise and Omega) and his most recent novel, Zero K: In Point Omega, we’re told: “The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever.” In White Noise, meanwhile, Jack Gladney already feels like he is the false character following his name […]

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Poet Tripping

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Carol Ann Duffy, the UK’s poet laureate, has invited three poets to join her on a road trip through England, Wales and Scotland, which will take them from Falmouth to St Andrews over the course of a fortnight. From June 19 to July 2, Gillian Clarke, the outgoing national poet of Wales, the makar (the […]

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Fairytales Still Make Our Skin Crawl

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Fairytales can be seen as formulaic, but these formulas provide the bones for modern writers to fill in as they please; adaptations of classic fairytales are still making bestseller lists and hitting the box office every few months, showing how versatile these classic tales can be, as Lincoln Michel points out over at the Guardian. The nondescript […]

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