Curiosities

December 21, 2014

Unbreakable 0

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Recommended reading: Wil S. Hylton profiles Laura Hillenbrand and the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome on her writing in a piece for The New York Times Magazine, just in time for the release of the film adaptation of Unbroken.

December 20, 2014

In Moominland 0

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“After [WWII], the other Finnish artists formed themselves into political groups but Tove wasn’t a joiner; besides, the only political activity she enjoyed was tyrant-baiting. She decided to emigrate to the island kingdom of Tonga but the governor wrote back saying there was a housing shortage and she wouldn’t be welcome. So she created her […]

December 20, 2014

Real People 0

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“Here is the last and biggest piece of advice I have: If you have a story that you want to tell, but you’re afraid that someone in your life is going to feel wounded, whether that feeling is justified or not, fair or not, tell it anyway.” Emma Straub, who recently wrote about her Year […]

December 19, 2014

“Neither Tarnished Nor Afraid” 0

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“Being nominated for an award feels the way I imagine winning the lottery must feel: You’re deeply grateful and a little disoriented, you feel very lucky, and you know that it could just as easily have been someone else.” Our own Emily St. John Mandel writes about “the vast distance between literary prizes and literary […]

December 19, 2014

On Board The Pequod 0

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Recommended reading: Ben Shattuck spends a night and a day aboard a New England whaling ship in an attempt to better understand Ishmael’s (and Melville‘s) experiences, and combines Moby-Dick excerpts with his own accounts of life onboard in a piece for The Atlantic.

December 18, 2014

Great Sentences 0

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We’ve been writing quite a bit about our favorite books from this year, but Brooklyn Magazine is going one step further and listing 2014’s best sentences.

December 18, 2014

The Year of the Essay 0

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“Reading fiction is one of my true loves, but essays help me to understand things about the world, the writer, and if they’re really great, myself.” Electric Literature‘s Jason Diamond argues 2014 was “The Year of the Essay,” and when we think over the collections published this year – The Empathy Exams, The Unspeakable and Loitering, among […]

December 17, 2014

Mark It Up 0

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Recommended Reading: Laura Miller’s argument for writing in books. You could also read Sam Anderson’s marginalia in Dan Brown’s Inferno, as well as his Year in Marginalia from 2010.

December 17, 2014

Stars of Old Russia 0

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In 1913, four years before the Russian Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II made the now-baffling claim that a writer named Teffi was the only major Russian writer. At the time, however, his endorsement made sense, because everybody in Russia, from royalty on down, read Teffi’s work and “delighted” in it. Until the revolution, at which point […]

December 16, 2014

Epic 0

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“Idea #2: Book opens to reveal it is hollow, contains one medium-sized onion. Review: ‘Multilayered… had me in tears.’” How to write a first novel that gets praised in the New York Times.