Recent Articles

August 18, 2015

Pick a Card, Any Card: Raymond Carver’s First Short Story 4

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Carver’s distinctive style was established surprisingly early, as this recently-discovered story — found among the yellowing papers of his third-grade teacher at Yakima Elementary School — will attest.

August 18, 2015

Tuesday New Release Day: Johnson; Moshfegh; Berlin; Barker; Al Aswany; Cobb; Lee; Dirda 0

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Out this week: Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh; A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin; The Incarnations by Susan Barker; The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa Al Aswany; Darkness the Color of Snow by Thomas Cobb; The Investigation by J.M. Lee; and Browsings by the Washington Post critic Michael Dirda. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-Half 2015 Book […]

August 17, 2015

He’ll Ask You For a Napkin 0

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Mallory Ortberg of The Toast, whose Ayn Rand-inspired versions of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and You’ve Got Mail we told you about a few months ago, is back it at again. Now Rand (er, I mean, Ortberg) has her sights set on the dubiously libertarian children’s classic If You Give a Mouse a […]

August 17, 2015

Social Media Existence Precedes Essence 0

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Over at McSweeney’s, Sarah Solomon has undertaken the Sisyphean task of bringing existentialism into the twenty-first century. In a series of brief vignettes, Solomon gives the oft-maligned Millennial generation the existentialist makeover they never asked for. Continue your study of the absolute indifference of the universe with this essay by Zach Pontz on The Meursault Investigation, […]

August 17, 2015

Love Ever Write Often 0

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“The way (Yeats) puts down a man’s head & a woman’s head side by side, or face to face, is terrifying, two irreducible singlenesses & the impassable immensity between.”  The Paris Review has published a brief, fascinating letter written by Samuel Beckett to his aunt Cissie Sinclair containing an original poem and some positive criticism […]

August 17, 2015

Lessons From No: Writers on Their Most Formative Rejections 3

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It took me a long time to understand that every editor who has rejected my fiction has done me a favor.

August 17, 2015

A Necessary Push Forward 0

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Muna Mire has written an incisive and timely essay for The New Inquiry on the Black Feminist classic Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman by Michele Wallace. Coinciding with last month’s reissue of Black Macho by Verso Books, Mire’s essay discusses justified anger rightly-directed and the potential utility of Wallace’s “Black Movement” in […]

August 17, 2015

A Fan’s Lament 0

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“We tether ourselves to others as a path not taken, a dream unfulfilled. A lesson unlearned, a responsibility unmet. We mourn idols as ourselves because even that unachieved road must end.” Paul Taunton has written a heartfelt Hazlitt essay on Frederick Exley, Frank Gifford, and passionate idolatry. Exley’s cult favorite A Fan’s Notes, published in 1988, is […]

August 17, 2015

How to Title Every Book You Ever Write 4

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Get out your favorite album. Rank the tracks in order of how much you like them. Take the fourth song. Print out the lyrics to that song and black out any that are well known. From the remaining lyrics, choose either the first or second half of a complete thought. Note: It must be meaningless out of context.

August 16, 2015

Bukowski’s Rules 0

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Want to write like Charles Bukowski? Just follow these simple rules.