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  • Our own Elizabeth Minkel has been posting sights and quotations from a recent George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb event in London. You can check out her coverage over on Tumblr.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • There’s an excerpt from Darcey Steinke’s forthcoming novel, Sister Golden Hair, over at Granta right now. In our Great Book Preview, Emily St. John Mandel wrote that Steinke’s novel focuses on a family “on the brink of collapse” in early-70’s Virginia.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • Wyvern is publishing a “Haunted” theme issue just in time for Halloween this year, and you have until mid-September to submit your work. “Haunting is in your bones,” Wyvern’s editors write. “You know it when you feel it, and you know it when you write it. That is what we’re looking for.”


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    ~Nick Moran
  • Recommended Reading: “Ode to Country Music” by Sandra Simonds.


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    ~Nick Moran
  • Recommended Reading: Daniel Marc Janes on the fictional namesakes of London’s mayor.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • What happens when a literary fiction writer tackles YA? If that writer is Sherman Alexie, he produces an award-winning book that rivals the quality of his books in other genres. At the Ploughshares blog, Annie Cardi writes about writers who’ve made this transition, including Alexie, Roddy Doyle and Louise Erdrich. You could also read our survey of high school students on the best YA books of 2013.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Coming this fall: a newly published autobiography that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote before she decided to retool her life story into the Little House on the Prairie books. Originally intended for an adult audience, Pioneer Girl gives a decidedly unsanitized account of Ingalls Wilder’s life, including love triangles, deadbeat fathers and episodes of drunken abuse. In The Telegraph, Rosa Prince compiles a preview of the new book.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • In the 1880s, a group of rural Illinoisans formed a Christian sect that believed that a local woman, Dorinda Beekman, was the new Jesus Christ. When Mrs. Beekman died, a follower of hers claimed that her spirit lived inside him; as the new leader of the sect, he moved his followers into a barn and named it Heaven. At The Paris Review Daily, Dan Visel looks back on this odd chapter of history, as well as the novel it inspired. (Related: Eric Shonkwiler on the literature of the Midwest.)


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Liked watching Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk last year? Then consider picking up a copy of We Should All Be Feminists. The longform essay, now published as an ebook original, was adapted from topics Adichie touched upon in her speech, among them the importance of being a feminist in the twenty-first century. You could also look back on Adichie’s Year in Reading piece.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “You frequently attend the opera to gossip about other patrons. You have never actually seen an opera.” How to tell if you’re in a Balzac novel.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Last October marked the release of a new volume in The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway. Spanning three years in the writer’s early twenties, the letters in the volume track events including his first bullfight, the birth of his son Jack and the publication of his first collection of stories and poems. In The New York Review of Books, Edward Mendelson reads through the new volume. This might also be a good time to read our own Michael Bourne on A Farewell to Arms.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • There’s a new trailer out for the book Worn Stories, a collection of pieces about clothing and memory edited by Emily Spivack. The contributor list includes, among others, Heidi Julavits, John Hodgman, Greta Gerwig and Marina Abramović. (h/t The Rumpus)


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    ~Thomas Beckwith