Notable Articles

February 1, 2012

I Greet You in the Middle of a Great Career: A Brief History of Blurbs 45

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Hyperbole, fakery, shameless cronyism: blurbs, like bullshit, existed long before the term coined to describe them.

January 3, 2012

Most Anticipated: The Great 2012 Book Preview 83

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At 8,400 words strong and encompassing 81 titles, this is the only 2012 book preview you will ever need.

December 5, 2011

12 Holiday Gifts That Writers Will Actually Use 41

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Writers get blank journals for the same reasons that teachers get mugs, assistants get flowers, and grandmothers get tea. If you want to give the writer in your life something he or she will truly adore, here are twelve ideas.

December 1, 2011

A Year in Reading 2011 35

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For an eighth year, we asked some of our favorite writers, thinkers, and readers to look back, reflect, and share. Their charge was to name, from all the books they read this year, the one(s) that meant the most to them, regardless of publication date. Grouped together, these ruminations, cheers, squibs, and essays will be a chronicle of reading and good books from every era. We hope you find in them seeds that will help make your year in reading in 2012 a fruitful one.

November 29, 2011

Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List 171

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You see, Reader, I still don’t plan on self-publishing my first novel, though I don’t deny the positive aspects of that choice.

October 17, 2011

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Write ‘The Marriage Plot’ 24

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The irony was clear: here I was, cheating on a novel that had once been my mistress!

October 11, 2011

Bartleby’s Occupation of Wall Street 39

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If Occupy Wall Street has any goal, it should be to have the same effect that great literature has — to unsettle.

September 2, 2011

Why Are So Many Literary Writers Shifting into Genre? 94

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Is it a mass sellout, a belated and half-hearted attempt by writers to chase the market? Or are two disparate worlds finally merging?

August 23, 2011

Shutting the Drawer: What Happens When a Book Doesn’t Sell? 72

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The truth is, my novel isn’t selling, and it probably won’t. There, I’ve said it. Eventually, a writer must accept rejection, accept the death of her first true darling, and move on. Can I face that sobering reality? Can I put my first book into the drawer, and shut it?

August 18, 2011

Making Room for Readers 39

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It’s a mistake to rarify reading and put books out of reach. It’s a mistake to assume that readers are “mostly born and only a little made.” Because those discoveries in libraries and bookstores — and, yes, on my parents’ shelves, too — are what made me a reader, not some mysterious, bibliogenic accident of birth.