Curiosities

August 17, 2014

Uncommon Thrills 0

by

In the Times Book Review, Year in Reading alum and Edinburgh author Alexander Chee reviews Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, a Millions contributor. He describes the book as, among other things, a departure from your average literary thriller: “If we know this story, we haven’t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now.”

August 17, 2014

If we explain this any more the joke will be lost 0

by

“The Time I Spent On A Commercial Whaling Ship Totally Changed My Perspective On The World,” a blogger named Ishmael writes, on the sister blog to The Onion. (But I like these titles better.)

August 16, 2014

Writing Indifferently 0

by

How was Charlotte Brontë at 8? According to her school reports, she “‘[wrote] indifferently’ and ‘[knew] nothing of grammar, geography, history, or accomplishments”. Of course, she went on to write Jane Eyre, and as The Guardian points out, many a famous writer received middling reports in school, so maybe there’s hope for other “indifferent’ writers.

August 16, 2014

New Novel, New Excerpt 0

by

Darcey Steinke has a new novel, Sister Golden Hair, coming out this fall, and Granta has an excerpt available online. For more about Steinke, be sure to read Lydia Millet‘s praise for her early novel, Jesus Saves.

August 16, 2014

Enigmatic, Disturbing Sirens 0

by

Marina Warner reviews the “enigmatic and brief” and somewhat disturbing “The Professor and the Siren” for The Paris Review. As luck would have it, our own Sonya Chung reviewed the same story for The Millions.

August 15, 2014

“Keep Arguing” 0

by

There are plenty of good reasons to read classic literature, but Mary Beard reminds us that there’s a different kind of classic that’s worth revisiting and questioning. “You do the ancient world much greater service if you keep arguing with them.”

August 15, 2014

“Characters are Ciphers” 0

by

Peter Mendelsund writes for the Paris Review about how we see, or think we see, fictional characters. “Characters are ciphers. … We are ever reviewing and reconsidering our mental portraits of characters in novels: amending them, backtracking to check on them, updating them when new information arises.”

August 15, 2014

Catstarter 0

by

“The most interesting writers we know, all asking and answering the same question: why can’t we stop watching cat videos?” Coffee House Press one-ups all boring Kickstarter campaigns with Catstarter, a campaign to fund a book on cat videos and “how we decide what is good or bad art, or art at all.”

August 15, 2014

Conferenceness 0

by

“Can a conference really transcend its essential conferenceness?” For a conference on Geoff Dyer, that’s the essential question, and the Los Angeles Review of Books has an answer. Pair with Dyer’s Year in Reading and Janet Potter‘s review of Another Great Day at Sea.

August 15, 2014

An Imagined Country 0

by

“The immigrant who arrives too late in life to adapt to his new country, but too early to survive on nostalgia for the old country, has to create a third, imagined country to live in.” Peter Pomerantsev writes for the London Review of Books about Brighton Beach, Russian immigrants and a “self-made America.” Pair with […]