Curiosities

December 15, 2014

Garrets Etc. 0

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Most writers, unless they’re lucky enough to have an ideal place in which to work, make do with the best space available. For Colum McCann’s father, the shed in his backyard, which “always smelled damp inside, as if the rain rose up out of the carpet,” sufficed for the fiction he wrote after coming home […]

December 14, 2014

How Writers Read Vol. 2 0

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I’ve written before about The Believer‘s “How Writers Read” series, and now the second installment, which includes questions about guilty reading and the constant debate between short and long books, is online.

December 14, 2014

At Year’s End 0

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“Year-end lists are always subjective and incomplete, but they are especially tricky for books. A dedicated film critic can watch every wide release film and a theater critic can go to most every play, but the book critic is faced with an insurmountable mountain of books each year. The sheer number of books is inspiring as […]

December 13, 2014

Oxford Marginalia Group 0

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Recommended reading: Lauren Collins writes for The New Yorker about the Oxford University Marginalia group and the fate of bookish scribblings.

December 13, 2014

2014’s Best Book Covers 0

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“What is the value of a book cover if fewer and fewer people shop at bookstores?” Nicholas Blechman wonders about the purpose of the book cover at The New York Times Book Review, but he also rounds up some of the best covers of 2014, including the design for Eimear McBride‘s A Girl is A […]

December 12, 2014

Sourcing ‘The Hobbit’ 0

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In an essay for The Guardian, John Garth identifies an interesting source for parts of Tolkien‘s The Hobbit: Native American lore.

December 12, 2014

Gothic Roots 0

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“If Gothic literature had a family tree, its twisted gnarled branches chock-full of imperiled, swooning heroines and mysterious monks, with ghosts who sit light on the branches, and Frankenstein’s monster who sits heavy, with troops of dwarves, and winking nuns, and stunted, mostly nonflammable babies, at its base would sit Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto.” Carrie Frye writes for […]

December 11, 2014

Something Cannibalistic 0

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“When it comes to the personal essay, we want so much and there is something cannibalistic about our desire. We want essayists to splay themselves bare. We want to see how much they are willing to bleed for us. This desire introduces an interesting tension for essay writers. How much should they bleed, and how […]

December 11, 2014

Keeping Present the Forgotten 0

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Recommended reading: The Believer interviews Claudia Rankine about Citizen: An American Lyric, the relationship between art and literature and the importance of “keeping present the forgotten bodies.”

December 10, 2014

Through the Pain 0

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Recommended Reading: Cristina Fries on Excavation by Wendy Ortiz. (h/t The Rumpus)