Quick Hits

January 28, 2011

Lisbeth Salander, The Early Years: Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking 7

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Pippi Longstocking never quite breaks the laws of physics, but she is an impossible creature, a fantasy of empowerment: rich, self-confident, unnaturally strong, perpetually delighted, never compromising, never defeated.

January 27, 2011

In Praise of Literary Reports 3

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Have we already lost interest in the Gulf oil spill, or is it possible that the report itself is to blame for our fading interest?

January 10, 2011

In Which the Author Recalls Reading Huck Finn As a Child 2

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I was walking down the stairs with the book in hand because, though a fairly precocious young reader, I’d come across a word I’d never seen before.

January 10, 2011

My Resolution for 2011: Stop Blaming the Internet 7

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The Internet was the big bogeyman, the great scapegoat of 2010.

November 22, 2010

Internet Stunts Vs. Blurbs: Is There a Difference? 1

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Marketing a book is more of an uphill battle than ever in our forget-me-now culture of constant media noise. And so were born internet literary stunts.

October 30, 2010

If You Don’t Read “Cul de Sac,” You Really Probably Should 1

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The comic is vibrant, warm, and beautifully drawn; unlike its staggering peers, it’s outrageously alive.

October 20, 2010

On Reading Snow in Turkish 4

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I ride to school and whisper words like “threshold,” “doomsday,” and “willow tree.”

October 19, 2010

Hemingway, Michaels, Bellows: The Art of the Episodic Short Story 5

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Finishing a story – a good, well-written story – about a character both well developed and personally intriguing, and knowing that another story about that very same character is out there somewhere, has become, for me, one of the best feelings in the world.

September 30, 2010

When I’m in the Mood for Fiction 12

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Fiction can be depressing, of course, but there’s something intrinsically optimistic about the process by which tragedy and frailty are turned into art.

September 28, 2010

T-Shirts I Have Known 4

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Remembering vanished shirts is a somewhat wistful thing. Each one means so much, yet each will disappear.