Recent Articles

May 20, 2016

Dear Novel: On Breaking Up with Your Manuscript 5

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You said that I was trying to turn you into a thriller when you were really a literary novel. You wanted character; I knew agents wanted plot. We fought.

May 20, 2016

Red October 0

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Haven’t heard of Teffi? You can blame that one on the Bolsheviks. The early-20th-century Russian poet, playwright and journalist, whose fans included (oddly enough) both Vladimir Lenin and Tsar Nikolai, had to flee a Moscow in turmoil to avoid persecution as a dissident. Now, several publishers are reprinting her memoir of exile, for which The New Statesman has details and a short biography.

May 20, 2016

Very Brief Respites from the Darkness 0

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Want to learn filmmaking from a self-proclaimed “soldier of cinema”? Then sign up for a class with Werner Herzog. The enigmatic director, whose films include Grizzly Man and Fitzcarraldo, announced he’ll be teaching a course in the summer through the online provider Masterclass.

May 20, 2016

Nothing Works Until It Works: On Writerly Discomfort 0

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Discomfort, discord, imbalance, conflict — however you want to describe it, this liminality is the spark that lights the creative fire.

May 19, 2016

Acid Bath 0

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“There is a tab of LSD and shreds of the King James Bible in this morning tumbler of bourbon.” On C.E. Morgan’s new novel.

May 19, 2016

Fifteen-Love 0

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Recommended Reading: Gerald Marzorati on why Tolstoy played tennis.

May 19, 2016

“The year we killed our teacher” 0

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What’s the only thing nicer than new fiction by Hilary Mantel? New fiction by Hilary Mantel that you can read for free. At the LRB, check out the entirety of her latest, “Kinsella in His Hole.”

May 19, 2016

Pussy Riot: One Woman’s Vagina Takes on Japan’s Obscenity Laws 0

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The obscenity charges against Rokudenashiko stemmed from her art, which involved making things from casts of her manko (vagina). She had turned her manko into buttons, dioramas, and cell phone covers.

May 19, 2016

Or, Like Something Out of Kafka 0

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In their latest Trend Watch, Merriam-Webster announced they’ve been seeing more searches for “Kafkaesque,” a spike they attribute to British publishers writing about Booker winner Han Kang. Since the word is so overused, it’s worthwhile to ask: just what does it actually mean now, anyway? Allison Flood tries to pin it down at The Guardian.

May 19, 2016

Out There 0

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Some writers find their voices by heading off to Europe. Others (like Thoreau in Walden) head off to the woods instead. At The Rumpus, David Biespiel writes about the year he moved to Vermont, and what it meant to see himself as “leaning into” his youth. Pair with our own Anne K. Yoder on Ken Kesey and the Oregon coast.