Recent Articles

June 24, 2014

Raising Children and Writing Books 0

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“Quite possibly I’m a narrower, nastier and less morally responsible writer now than I was the day before my son was born. I certainly hope so.” We know Father’s Day was over a week ago, but here’s a belated link to a refreshingly cliché-free New York Times Bookends piece on parenting and writing, featuring James […]

June 24, 2014

Lives in Letters 6

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While my father is a young 81—another man’s 61, according to everyone who meets him—the fact that there’s an “8” in the age recorded in so many of the obituaries he sends is still a fact. When did this happen? I think. I think: So he’s preparing me.

June 24, 2014

Tuesday New Release Day: Ng; Kwok; Moses; Scheft; Ahmad; Fitzgerald 0

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New this week:  Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng; Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok; The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses; Shrink Thyself by the Letterman staff writer Bill Scheft; The Last Taxi Ride by A.X. Ahmad; and the Cambridge University Press edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taps at Reveille. Support The Millions: Bookmark this link […]

June 23, 2014

Lolita, in the Margins 0

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When Vladimir Nabokov developed a screen adaptation for Lolita, his director Stanley Kubrick declared it the “best ever written in Hollywood”–meaning, it seems, most gorgeously novelistic, evocative, readable. Here’s a short excerpt of his screenplay with original margin notes.

June 23, 2014

The mind of a writer 0

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Scientists confirmed recently that writers are more likely to struggle with mental illness (sometimes, as recently noted, due to syphilis). Since we’re so used to our alcoholic literary greats, and a smattering of suicidal ones (Plath, Woolf, Thompson, Wallace–and many more), this comes as no great surprise. On a happier note, a new study using fMRIs and MFA students has found that […]

June 23, 2014

And then I was like “Alas!” 0

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For everyone who harbors a deep and mildly-embarrassed love for GIFs in the significant, non-linguistic part of their brains that finds repeated facial expressions far more memorable than words: Ploughshares’ series on classic novels (1984, The Catcher in the Rye, The Scarlet Letter, The Hobbit) will have you laughing and building your cocktail-party knowledge all at once.

June 23, 2014

“The canon may be gone, but the idea of the canon persists.” 0

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Recommended reading: Harpers on the making and persistence of literary canons in a relativist age.

June 23, 2014

A Fake News Site Makes Fake Fake News. You Won’t Stop Laughing At What Happens Next 0

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Courtesy of fake-news juggernaut The Onion, a new viral website honest about its purpose: “I think we see the ideal ClickHole reader as a hollow shell who exists purely to click on our content and then share that content with other hollow shells.” (Also: the same technique on headlines, applied to books.)

June 23, 2014

A Prologue to the Literary History of the First World War: War Poets at the Ballet 3

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Did Marsh, Thornycroft, Sitwell, Sassoon, and the Thomases all come together for an evening at the ballet—and am I the first to notice?

June 22, 2014

$pending the $tephen King Money 0

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What do you do when Stephen King uses the same title on one of his books as you used on yours (which came out earlier)? You reap the rewards of mistaken Amazon purchases, and you document the spoils of those royalty checks.