by Hannah Gersen
I watched Friday Night Lights in real time, as it aired. I wonder if it would have been as much of an influence if I had “binged-watched” all five seasons back-to-back in one or two months’ time. Instead, the show stretched out over the course of five years, 2006-2011, which for me were years when I had to throw out most of the fiction I wrote.1
by Bill Morris
“When I read a book I’m listening to what the author wrote,” says the actor Kevin Kenerly. “Some people look at a novel as a text, but I look at it as language.”0
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“What’s the point of reading literature?” Electric Literature shares a video that offers a compelling 4-point answer.
It’s no secret we enjoy and highly recommend The Atlantic‘s By Heart series, and Vikram Chandra‘s essay on reading Hemingway is no exception. Pair with Jonathan Goldman‘s review of a modern edition of The Sun Also Rises.
Recommended reading: Catherine Lacey writes for Granta about “The Question of Fate” and fiction writing.
Modern technology has finally developed a device that aims to aid all perpetually distracted writers – the cleverly titled Hemingwrite.
Laila Lalami recently wrote about “How History Becomes Story,” but writing an interesting and compelling history book sans fiction has its own challenges. Thankfully S.C. Gwynne offers some tips in a piece for the History News Network, including the hard-hitting reminder that “it is your job to force your facts into narrative form.”
“There is something terrifying but also fascinating about contemplating the end of humanity,” and on Oct. 25th our own Edan Lepucki and Emily St. John Mandel (whose novel Station Eleven was just shortlisted for the National Book Award) will be discussing their recent apocalyptic fictions at the Texas Book Festival.
There’s been a lot of talk about Young Adult writing lately – we’ve covered it here and here and here – but where did YA come from, anyway? The New Yorker profiles writer S.E. Hinton, whose debut novel The Outsiders launched the genre, by way of answer.
Though major publications like The New York Times are still questioning the importance and power of female essayists, Lucy Scholes argues that women are producing “some of the best writing today” and as proof lists several of the best recent essay collections by women in a piece for The Daily Beast. Incidentally, that list includes titles such as The Empathy Exams and The Opposite of Loneliness, both of which were reviewed for The Millions (here and here, respectively).
The Economist gives a succinct explanation of “why books come out in hardback before paperback,” but their answer feels almost too simple. For a fuller understanding of the paperback / hardback question, pair The Economist‘s article with Nichole Bernier‘s Millions piece on “The Point of the Paperback.”
This week in book-related internet graphics: “A Map of the Best Book for Every State,” complete with the promise that “every last one will let you understand a time and place in a more profound way than you maybe thought possible.”
“The idea that novels could be dangerous seems largely have fallen by the wayside, which does raise the question of how today’s newer sources of entertainment and information will look to the critics of the future. In 50 years, maybe we’ll be lamenting our failure to read enough Internet.” Anna North writes about the distant time “When Novels Were Bad For You” for The New York Times.
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Read More The Millions Top 10 September 2014
The Bone Clocks David Mitchell
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami
Cosmicomics Italo Calvino
The Round House Louise Erdrich
My Struggle: Book 1 Karl Ove Knausgaard
Reading Like a Writer Francine Prose
The Son Philipp Meyer