Essays Archives - Page 82 of 106 - The Millions

October 13, 2010

‘You Like Sandra Cisneros, Don’t You?’ On Reading Outside Your Culture 3

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“Just wait and see,” she said, as we ate samosas outside of my dorm. “Right now, you’re an English major set on law school. A few months from now, you won’t be. You’ll get caught up in this writing thing.”

October 12, 2010

Our Meals, Ourselves: A Short History of Food Writing 5

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“Tell me what you eat,” wrote Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, “and I will tell you what you are.”

October 11, 2010

Gratuitous: How Sexism Threatens to Undermine the Internet 12

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I like following Lisa’s blog because, for whatever reason, her narrative is compelling. Following it is somewhat akin to watching a reality TV show (Not one of the ones where they try to out-dance each other or diet for money, but one that just follows someone’s daily life). She’s my Jersey Shore.

October 8, 2010

In Praise of Unlikable Characters 25

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Authors are too timid, it seems to me sometimes, in the face of the demand for conventionally sympathetic characters. “I didn’t like any of the characters” is a common Amazon reviewer’s refrain—or, I don’t know, maybe that’s just what they say about the books that I write. They say it like it’s a bad thing.

October 6, 2010

The Hardy Boys Need No Eulogy 9

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Inertia kept the long line of Hardy adventures on the top level of my bookshelf until I finally packed them all in a box and packed the box down in the basement, exhumed only when I decided to eulogize the brothers here.

October 5, 2010

The Un-Ironist: A Primer on Douglas Coupland’s Novels 9

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How ironic that Douglas Coupland, the man who popularized the term “Generation X”, turns out to be one of the least ironic novelists of his generation. His novels may, on the whole, be loaded with typographical trickery, brand names of the nanosecond, slacking youngsters, and Simpsons references, but he’s also deep into a suite of timelessly, radically un-hip novelistic themes.

October 4, 2010

Does School Kill Writing? 19

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School wasn’t my death as a writer, it was my birth; and it would not have happened without the guidance and support of inspiring teachers, access to magnificent libraries, and every student’s most precious gift, free time.

September 27, 2010

Bulletin: Interview with Tom McCarthy, General Secretary, INS 8

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This arboreal carnage seemed fitting, however, prior to a meeting with a man who teaches a class on Catastrophe, and who founded the International Necronautical Society, whose mission is to “map, enter, colonise and, eventually, inhabit” the space of death.

September 22, 2010

My Favorites’ Favorites 12

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Where I formerly swallowed recommendations whole, I now cull through them – not exactly on my own but in a more independent fashion. I find books, I do not just receive them. Or, I try to.

September 16, 2010

Two Novellas 5

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I’ve noticed an interesting trend recently toward what seems to me to be the deliberate miscategorization of books. Specifically, an insistence on the part of some publishers that practically everything’s a novel. I understand the reasoning behind it—novels, the argument goes, are somewhat easier to sell than either novellas or short story collections, and all’s fair in love, war, and literary fiction sales strategies—but it still seems unfortunate to me.