Articles by Elise Liu

July 31, 2014

“How like a prison is my cubicle…” 0

In May, poet David Lehman wrote the first line of a sonnet about cubicle anomie and began crowdsourcing the rest. The completed 12-week project at The American Scholar is not merely a pretty great piece on its own, but a lesson in how to write one, line by line: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8/9, 10, 11, 12, […]

July 31, 2014

Go on, judge these books by their covers 0

Book Cover Roundup, Item #1: Each year The Millions publishes a high stakes face-off between the UK and US covers of books featured in The Morning News’ Tournament of Books (2014, 2013, 2012). Now, for Sarah Hemfrey’s research on book covers in the publishing industry, it’s your turn to be the judge. Item #2: if Harry Potter is more your style, that […]

July 30, 2014

The Unwritten Novel 0

Recently, we featured five writers’ reminisces about the novels they ultimately shelved. Here a sixth, Elmo Keep, explains what led her to throw away her first novel, quite outside considerations of craft:”I could not resolve the conflict of a story that was not mine.”

July 30, 2014

“She’s such a Hermione” 0

You probably knew a Lothario was a character before his name grew into a generic euphemism for “Guy You Don’t Want Your Daughter Dating,” but what about “brainiac,” “mentor,” and “pamphlet”? It turns out character names have been making their way into everyday vocabulary for thousands of years.

July 30, 2014

Grant Snider’s muse-inspiring cartoons 0

The work of literary cartoonist Grant Snider has been featured in such places as the New York Times and Electric Literature (part 2, part 3). We also love this comic on poetry. But don’t wait for the curators to endorse your dose of comic cheer–every one of these pieces can be seen on Snider’s Tumblr page.

July 30, 2014

Your friendly neighborhood poet laureate 0

A while back, we reviewed an anthology of work by American poets laureate–that is, those appointed by the President to serve the entire United States. But there are 45 currently-serving state poets laureate, and thousands of city, county, and other poets laureate as well. What exactly do they do?

July 30, 2014

The Whale Arrives 1

The work of Elvio Gandolfo, whose novel Cada vez más cerca (“Each Time Closer”) won Argentina’s equivalent of the Pulitzer in 2013, is rarely published in English. So it’s a special treat to find his magical story about a whale falling out of the sky, newly translated for the anthology A Thousand Forests in One Acorn, available free at Ninth […]

July 23, 2014

“A merry monarch, scandalous and poor” 0

John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, was a dear friend (even protégé) of King Charles II. He was also a sharp-tongued poet who called out the same King on his bedroom behavior: “His sceptre and prick are of a length; / And she may sway the one who plays with th’other.”  

July 23, 2014

Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” as a film 0

The internet’s repository of Franz Kafka-inspired literary treats seems to have no bounds. This latest: his excellent short story “The Country Doctor” has been adapted by Japanese filmmaker Kōji Yamamura into a 20-minute animated film (subtitled). Kafka adaptations clearly aren’t going anywhere. Pair with our essay on the subtle art of rereading his most famous story.

July 23, 2014

The anticipations of a Most Anticipated book 0

Not every worthy book finds the audience it deserves as quickly as Edan Lepucki’s California. John Warner writes about the long aftermath of finding his debut, The Funny Man, featured in our 2011 Most Anticipated Book Preview: “I wondered, what if? Maybe this was going to be the next phase of my life, and when people asked […]