Curiosities

November 19, 2014

Positively Freudian 0

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Chances are that your mental image of Pavlov is that of a man giving commands to a barking dog. However, as a new biography makes clear, the doctor who brought us his very own adjective has a far more complicated legacy. In The New Yorker, Michael Specter writes about the man behind the bell.

November 19, 2014

Hardly Working 0

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Why is it okay to say “I’m working on a novel” but not okay to say “I’m working on my novel”? The former is a normal, straightforward, expression, while the latter smacks of arrogance and self-absorption. At Bookforum, Jesse Barron writes about the oddity of Working on My Novel, a collection of retweets (you read […]

November 18, 2014

New Franzen in 2015 1

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Sound the Franzen alarm! The Corrections and Freedom author will release a new book in 2015. Called Purity, the book will supposedly feature elements of magical realism (or something like it). Head over to Vulture for more.

November 18, 2014

Yuks of the North 0

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“A Canadian author, a farmer, and a First Nations teenager went fishing. The farmer mostly sat there quietly while the author and the teenager tried to find common ground, even though the gulf between them felt massive.” A Canadian literary scene joke book.

November 18, 2014

Like Teacher 1

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In The Guardian, Year in Reading alum Joshua Ferris writes a tribute to the novelist Jim Shepard, who taught him at UC Irvine when Ferris was a student there in the early aughts. Ferris makes a case that Shepard single-handedly settles a modern debate: “A lot of critics dislike the professionalisation of creative writing. They […]

November 18, 2014

“The point is she’s doing ballet badly” 0

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As part of their Sunday Interview series, The Rumpus had a chat with Leslie Jamison, who talked to Martha Bayne about The Empathy Exams, the ubiquity of Frozen and the pathos of Taylor Swift. If you like, you could also take a look at our own Edan Lepucki’s interview with Jamison, or else read Ryan […]

November 18, 2014

Tuesday New Release Day: Toews; Kirsch; Daum; VanderMeer 0

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Out this week: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews; The Letters of TS Eliot: Volume 5; Rocket and Lightship by Adam Kirsch; The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion by Meghan Daum; and a single-volume edition of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview. […]

November 17, 2014

Take It to the Bank 0

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It’s notoriously difficult to figure out how to make a living as a freelance writer. The process forces the writer to learn the finer points of negotiation. At the Ploughshares blog, Steph Auteri writes about the “abstract mathematics” of her freelance career, presenting a list of everything she considers before taking on an assignment. Pair […]

November 17, 2014

Convergences 0

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Recommended Reading: Andrea Denhoed on Flannery O’Connor.

November 17, 2014

Thank You, Scratch That 1

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If you’ve ever been asked to write a thank-you note, you know that, paradoxically, it can be one of the hardest forms of writing to do well. In light of that, The Morning News has kindly republished their classic guide to writing thank-you notes, written by Leslie Harpold. Sample quote: “If you want to know when […]