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  • “Every culture has its monsters,” and Jason Diamond writes about the Headless Horseman and one of the oldest American horror stories for Electric Literature.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “All I know was that in Paris I felt haunted, like a double exposure photograph that shows a figure and then a milky specter behind. I felt stalked by a creature of my own making, a monster that was both my mother and myself.” Darcey Steinke writes about Paris, loss, and monsters in an essay for Granta.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” Galway Kinnell, whose Selected Poems won a Pulitzer in  1983, passed away Tuesday.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Recommended reading: An excerpt from Denis Johnson‘s upcoming novel, The Laughing Monsters, is available from Work in Progress.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • To begin to translate a book, you need to hone your knowledge of the language in which it’s written. To write a great essay about translating a book, you need a backstory, an interesting format and two or three foreign parables. At The Rumpus, Brian Oliu writes about translating his grandfather’s book from the Catalan.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended Reading: Larissa Pham on Milena Michiko Flašar’s I Called Him Necktie.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Longtime writers know how hard it can be to tell when a piece is finished. Tolstoy famously tried to revise War and Peace right up to the book’s publication. At the Ploughshares blog, Amy Jo Burns offers tips for evaluating a piece before deciding to give it to someone else.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • A couple of weeks ago, I pointed readers to the trailer for Olive Kitteridge, the new HBO show based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by Year in Reading alum Elizabeth Strout. In this week’s New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum sizes up the new series, describing it as a case study in bringing a work of fiction to the screen. “In the course of four hours, the miniseries casts a West Coast spell on scenes of Yankee repression,” she writes.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • It’s rare that a writer decides his new novel will be his last, but that’s exactly what Michael Faber has done with regards to his latest, which comes out this week. In the Times, he talks with Alexandra Alter about his decision, saying: “I felt that I had one more book in me that could be special and sincere and extraordinary, and that that would be enough.” It’s probably a good time to read our own Bill Morris on the history of literary retirements.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “Over the years, I’ve come to realize that sometimes a ghost isn’t always a ghost. Sometimes, telling a ghost story is a way to talk about something else present in the air, taking up space beside you. It can also be a manifestation of intuition, or something you’ve known in your bones but haven’t yet been able to accept.” Jenna Wortham on the ghost stories of her youth.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Claudia Rankine’s new book of poetry, Citizen, is getting a lot of attention in part due to its meditations on race in modern America. In the latest issue of BOMB, Lauren Berlant interviews the poet, asking her about micro-aggressions, Kara Walker and the implicit tone of the word “citizen.”


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • As a cultural center with a very different makeup than the various home bases of the publishing world, Los Angeles often gets short shrift in discussions of literary cities. At the LARB (naturally), Sarah-Jane Stratford writes about the city’s importance to speculative literature, with an emphasis on the works of Ray Bradbury. Related: Tanjil Rashid on Bradbury’s Middle East connection.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith