Curiosities

June 5, 2015

Footnotes as Fine Art 0

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Recommended reading: Jonathan Russell Clark examines “The Fine Art of the Footnote” for Literary Hub. Pair with his Millions articles on the opening sentence, the closing sentence, and doing away with quotation marks altogether.

June 5, 2015

Daenerys = Cleopatra? 0

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This week in book-related infographics: a look at the real history behind Game of Thrones, from the Anglo-Saxon conflict to Cleopatra.

June 5, 2015

Smith Wins Bailey’s 0

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Ali Smith‘s How to Be Both has won the Bailey’s Prize for women’s fiction, placing her in the same ranks as Zadie Smith and Lionel Shriver. If you’re not too familiar with Smith’s work, Jonathan Russell Clark wrote about her for The Millions last year.

June 3, 2015

“Depressing day” 0

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A while back, I linked to a contentious letter between Saul Bellow and Jack Ludwig, written not long after Bellow found out Ludwig was sleeping with his wife. Now, here’s a (somewhat) less angry piece of correspondence, sent from Philip Larkin to Barbara Pym. Sample quote: “Has anyone ever done any work on why memories […]

June 3, 2015

Holy Verse 1

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Recommended Reading: Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel on why jihadists write poetry.

June 3, 2015

Sainthood Etc. 0

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Need something to complement our profile of Jami Attenberg’s Saint Mazie today? Then try this on for size: Year in Reading alum Emily Gould conducts an interview with the author at The Rumpus. Among other things, they talk about historical fiction, writing quickly and doing research on the Lower East Side.

June 3, 2015

High Art 0

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What happened to the literature of clothing? Writers like Balzac and Proust wrote philosophies of clothing, but nowadays there seems to be a wall between literary writing and fashion. In Public Books, Mary Davis reads Women in Clothes, a collection which reveals a lot about how much our views of fashion writing have changed. FYI, […]

June 2, 2015

Flimflam 0

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Here’s a simple poll idea we’re amazed we hadn’t thought of before: asking famous writers to pick their favorite words. In The Guardian, Hilary Mantel, Tessa Hadley and others (including Year in Reading alum Eimear McBride) choose their picks for an exceedingly odd vocabulary list.

June 2, 2015

Lacework 0

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“The plot, obviously, is kind of difficult to explain, like an earnest, pared-down, hipster Foucault’s Pendulum. Not only are all of the plot turns above laid out through a multiframed narrative, replete with several people’s footnotes, but the events are interwoven with disquisitions on the history of map-making, Situationist philosophy, urban planning, and pop music.” […]

June 2, 2015

The New Canon 0

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Is Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life a Great American Gay Novel? According to Garth Greenwell, the book — which came out in March — is one of the most ambitious gay novels to come out in years. At The Atlantic, he makes a case that the book is a classic of its kind. You could […]