Curiosities

September 8, 2014

“MFA Thesis (and/or Life Reevaluation)” 0

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Did your MFA program offer impractical courses like “Problems in Modern Fiction”? At the Ploughshares blog, Rebecca Makkai offers some suggestions for more useful classes, such as “Introduction to Despair,” “Pretending You’re Talking to Terry Gross When You’re Alone in the Car,” and “The Art of the Flirty Author Photo Grimace.” Pair with: Our interview […]

September 8, 2014

Hansel and Gaiman 0

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Neil Gaiman’s newest graphic novel isn’t even out yet, but it already has a movie deal. His update on the Brothers Grimm fairytale Hansel and Gretel with illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti comes out on October 28, and Juliet Blake is developing a live action version. Hopefully, it’s better than Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

September 8, 2014

The Restaurant Model of Medicine 0

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“Doctors may be tempted to give patients what we want, even when it is not good for us.” Guernica has an excerpt from Eula Biss’s forthcoming On Immunity: An Innoculation, which we featured in our book preview.

September 8, 2014

The Library of the Future 0

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If you’re looking forward to the next Margaret Atwood novel, you’ll have to wait a century. Atwood is the first author to participate in the Future Library project, in which 100 authors will write 100 original manuscripts to be published 100 years from now. We’re envious of our grandchildren. If you’d like an Atwood fix […]

September 7, 2014

“Cool Characters” 0

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“What those who care about books must appreciate is that the boundaries between canonical and noncanonical have never been ironclad in African-American literature.” Clark C. Cooke writes for the LA Review of Books on black crime fiction and the rise of a “new African-American literary scene.”

September 7, 2014

Is Literature Useful? 0

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“Literature is the record we have of the conversation between those of us now alive on earth and everyone who’s come before and will come after, the cumulative repository of humanity’s knowledge, wonder, curiosity, passion, rage, grief and delight. It’s as useless as a spun-sugar snowflake and as practical as a Swiss Army knife.” Dana […]

September 7, 2014

The James Ellroy Phenomenon 0

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“His books used to be ink on paper; now we have to squint through the cloud of the Ellroy Phenomenon.” And the James Ellroy Phenomenon looks like it will only continue: the author has announced plans for a second L.A. Quartet, the first of which, Perfidia, comes out next week.

September 6, 2014

Richard Wright, 106 0

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Richard Wright‘s 106th birthday passed this last week, and in celebration The Paris Review posted an excerpt from a 2003 remembrance. Pair with our own Lydia Kiesling‘s review of Wright’s Native Son.

September 6, 2014

“Almost Like the Blues” 0

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Recommended reading (and listening): “Almost Like the Blues” by Leonard Cohen.

September 6, 2014

Measuring Detail Density 0

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“Every story that works gets the level of description that it needs. Which isn’t to say that the level of description needed for every successful story is the same.” Tobias Carroll surveys the wide variety of detail density in fiction for Electric Literature.