Recent Articles

March 26, 2015

“I hate literature” 0

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Recommended reading: The Guardian reports on Varlam Shalamov, a Russian author who spent 17 years in the harsh camps of the Kolyma gulag, wrote more than 140 short stories, and still claimed ““I hate literature. I do not write memoirs; nor do I write short stories. That is, I try to write not a short story […]

March 26, 2015

A Nation of Poets 0

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“Mr. Walt Whitman has imagined that a certain amount of violent sympathy with the great deeds and sufferings of our soldiers, and of admiration for our national energy, together with a ready command of picturesque language, are sufficient inspiration for a poet. If this were the case, we had been a nation of poets.” A […]

March 26, 2015

Exclusive First Look: Lauren Groff’s ‘Fates and Furies’ 2

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Fates and Furies has so far been cryptically described as “an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception,” and as, you’ll see, the book wastes no time introducing us to its protagonists.

March 25, 2015

Chum Lit 0

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Some of the best novels out there — Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men — deal largely with fictional friendships. Yet depictions of close friends that are central to the plot are considerably rare in modern novels. At The Guardian, AD Miller notes this isn’t the case for movies and TV shows, and suggests a […]

March 25, 2015

“This big, tangled thing” 0

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Recommended Reading: “Another Tuesday” by Tanya Knox.

March 25, 2015

The Weight of Knowledge: On Moving Books 8

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It would be trickier to decide whom to put in the adult diaper boxes.

March 25, 2015

The Spy Who Saved Me 0

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How did Ian Fleming come up with James Bond? It’s easy to think, considering the political context of his era, that Fleming tailored his superspy to be the ideal hero of the Cold War. Yet there’s another, more prosaic explanation — was the author simply having a midlife crisis?

March 25, 2015

Poor Gatsby 0

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The Great Gatsby debuted in 1925 to poor sales and mediocre reviews. So how did it become one of the most famous novels in America? At Slate, Cristina Hartmann explains how Fitzgerald’s opus, which netted the author royalties worth a grand total of $13 in his lifetime, went on to become a classic. Related: our own Bill Morris […]

March 25, 2015

From the Internet to the Ivy League: Fanfiction in the Classroom 6

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Fanfiction will be taught and studied in future classrooms across the country — the only question is how.

March 24, 2015

Light Us Up 0

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For whatever reason, the Zippo lighter has earned a place as an icon of Americana, a symbol of everything simple and reliable in the country. At the Ploughshares blog, Nancy McCabein pays a visit to the Zippo Museum, punctuating her account with quotes from works of literature that feature the lighter.