by Joanna Chen
There was a certain buzz in the air before Michael Hastings’s The Last Magazine was published. His personal story, in fact, is the stuff that good fiction is made of. A prominent journalist, he died just over a year ago in a single-vehicle crash in the hours before dawn, triggering speculation that he had been murdered.3
by Sonya Chung
Of the mess of books that has been unsystematically scattered throughout my home, and my life, which ones will make it to the nightstand? In what order will they be stacked? Perhaps most importantly: how will I decide?6
- recent articles
- Three Books to Get Over an Affair 3
- Nook (Kindle) and Cranny: Literary Travel Suggestions for a 400 Square Foot Apartment 1
- The Longest Silence: On Writing and Fishing 1
- Because I, Too, Am Hungry: On Food and Reading 8
- This Could Be Your Story: On Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves 0
- Practical Art: On Teaching the Business of Creative Writing 57
- Back to School: Six Strategies for Effective Close Reading 0
- Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Eco-terrorists So Different, So Appealing? 3
- Mind of a Team: David Peace’s Red or Dead 2
- The Thriller, Reinvented 3
“We don’t yet know how to make it rain. But increasingly, we may be talking about what to do when the rain doesn’t come.” Anna North writes for The New York Times about literature in the age of drought.
Trying to get some writing done? Procrastinate with a game about trying to get some writing done without procrastinating.
Recommended Listening: “A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment,” a new podcast from Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter.
“Why do we lust for lists?” Sandra M. Gilbert may not have an answer, but she does have a response to all those “100 Best American Novels” lists (and a list of her own). The Millions has a few lists too, of course – be sure to check out Janet Potter‘s “28 Books You Should Read If You Want To.”
In an essay for TriQuarterly Lia Purpura writes about Virginia Woolf‘s “moments of being” and their importance for contemporary writing. “Woolf’s particular flavor of modernism is rooted in the drive to gather, hold, and deepen moments, to make the shimmering moment of perception the base upon which “reality” rests. Her sensibility honors the fleeting, fragile instances of a person’s life.”
“’These issues are constantly being brought to the surface in Roman literature, if you have eyes to see them,’ Beard said. ‘And, of course, having eyes to see them—that’s what the trick is.’” Rebecca Mead writes for the New Yorker about Mary Beard, the Cambridge classicist famous for her BBC programs on Roman life and for her handling of online harassment. For more from Beard, check out her interview with the Los Angeles Review of Books about the importance of the classics, and for more about online negativity, head to Salon‘s article on “Why female writers get trolled the most.”
Slate has translated famous first lines of literature into emojis, and they’re surprisingly coherent. Pair with Jonathan Russell Clark‘s essay on opening sentences.
Recommended reading: Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams (which we covered here and here), writes again, this time about 52 Blue, “the loneliest whale in the world.” The full work is available at Atavist for $3.99, but an excerpt is available at Slate.
“I’m not convinced that the questions that have been raised for me by the writing I love the most could be answered by the authors themselves.” A new interview with Eula Biss, author of Notes from No Man’s Land, is up on NEA’s Art Works Blog.
Infinite Jest may have “really taken on a foothold as the ‘novel of ideas’ of the late 20th and early 21st centuries” but now it’s also a “novel of legos,” courtesy of Kevin Griffith and his 11 year old son, Sebastian.
“Whenever I tried to invent a character or a situation, I felt a stab of guilt. I could hear my teacher’s quavering voice saying, Write what you know! Why had she insisted on this so vociferously?” Writing class mantras are easy to impart but they are also easily misinterpreted. A.X. Ahmad, author of The Last Taxi Ride and The Caretaker, learns this truth the hard way as he tries to become a writer following a personal upheaval. Pair with Ahmad’s Millions essay on “The Thriller, Reinvented.”
A Pittsburgh-based nonprofit is offering free housing and stipends to “foreign-born scribes who endured imprisonment, or worse, in their home countries.”
- Staff Picks
- The Millions Interview
- Modern Library Revue
- Post-40 Bloomers
- Ask the Writing Teacher
- Ask a Book Question
- Millions Quiz
- Inter Alia
- Special Features
- A Year in Reading 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
- The Millions Top 10
- Notable Articles
- Best of the Millennium, Readers' List
- Max's Reading Lists
Read More The Millions Top 10 July 2014
Beautiful Ruins Jess Walter
The Round House Louise Erdrich
The Son Philipp Meyer
Reading Like a Writer Francine Prose
Bark Lorrie Moore
Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
Mt Struggle: Book 1 Karl Ove Knausgaard