Curiosities

March 1, 2015

Hugo’s Art 0

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From the Paris Review, a small selection of Victor Hugo‘s four thousand drawings.

March 1, 2015

From Fantasy to Allegory 0

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“Fantasy is a tool of the storyteller. It is a way of talking about things that are not, and cannot be, literally true. It is a way of making our metaphors concrete, and it shades into myth in one direction, allegory in another.” Neil Gaiman reviews Kazuo Ishiguro‘s The Buried Giant for the New York […]

March 1, 2015

Labyrinths 0

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Recommended recommendations: “Five books that are also labyrinths,” including Italo Calvino‘s The Castle of Crossed Destinies and Lily Hoang‘s Changing.

February 28, 2015

The Turnip Princess 0

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We’re all familiar with the Grimm-style fairy tales, with their evil stepmothers and imperiled princesses. But a new collection of 19th century Bavarian folk tales has been discovered, edited, and now released in English for the first time, and they’re darker, dirtier, and involve more gender-bending than the Grimm tales. Salon talks with the tales’ […]

February 28, 2015

Ishiguro’s 10-year Break 0

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“Someone asked me what I was doing in my 10‑year break,” says Kazuo Ishiguro with a boyish chuckle. “And I thought: yes, there has been a 10-year break since my last novel, but I personally haven’t been taking a 10‑year break!” The Telegraph talks with Ishiguro about his new novel and the first he’s published since Never […]

February 28, 2015

Comma Confessional 0

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“One of the things I like about my job is that it draws on the entire person: not just your knowledge of grammar and punctuation and usage and foreign languages and literature but also your experience of travel, gardening, shipping, singing, plumbing, Catholicism, Midwesternism, mozzarella, the A train, New Jersey. And in turn it feeds […]

February 27, 2015

Alice Munro’s First Book 0

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“I didn’t really understand what reading was for. If I wanted a story, the thing to do was to get my grandmother to read it to me. Then listening to her voice, her story-reading voice which always sounded a little incredulous, marvelling, yet full of faith, bravely insistent, and watching her face, its meaningful and utterly […]

February 27, 2015

Day Jobs 0

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This week in book-related infographics, round 2: Lapham’s Quarterly takes a look at the day jobs of famous authors, among them T.S. Eliot, who was responsible for processing reports on German debt, and Charlotte Bronte, who had laundry fees deducted from her pay. Pair with our own Emily St. John Mandel‘s essay on “Working the […]

February 27, 2015

Stars and Bodies 0

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Recommended listening: David Naimon interviews Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star, about “anorexia and astronomy, stars and bodies.” Pair with Alex Norcia‘s Millions review of Gerard’s novel here.

February 27, 2015

Theories on Jim Harrison 1

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“How is it possible that a smallish army of discerning readers agree that Jim Harrison is one of the few truly great living American writers, yet he has not gotten the wider audience—or the widespread praise—he so plainly deserves?” Our own Bill Morris has some theories.