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Margot met Robert on a Wednesday night…

“Cat Person” is a short story by Kristen Roupenian in the latest issue of The New Yorker. It’s about a brief modern relationship.
The magazine has also published an interview with Roupenian on the story. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Dec 9, 2017 - 168 comments

It may be my 32nd or 33rd book

Judith Kerr, now 94, escaped Nazi Germany with her family on the eve of Hitler's rise to power. Writer of 33 books (so far!) she is the creator of the much loved Tiger who came to tea, as well as the lovable, recently deceased Mog. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo on Nov 28, 2017 - 16 comments

Julian May (1931-2017)

Science fiction author Julian May has passed away at age 86: "In Memoriam: Julian May" from the SFWA; "May the Force Be With Her," a profile related to her First Fandom Hall of Fame Award; Chicon II / TASFIC entry at Fancyclopedia 3 ("Julian May was the first female chairman of a Worldcon"); "Julian May," her entry in The Encyclopedia of SF; her ISFDB entry; interviews with May from 1982 and 2015. Perhaps best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile (a brief appreciation; B&N retrospective; TVTropes entry), May's first SF story sales are available online ("Dune Roller" Astounding, Dec. 1951, with illustrations by May; "Star of Wonder," Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb. 1953) along with several letters to Astounding: 1, 2, and 3.
posted by Wobbuffet on Oct 21, 2017 - 51 comments

...where the reckoning of self happens.

What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity, by writer and poet Nina Li Coomes. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 20, 2017 - 6 comments

Buried Adult

Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author, actor, director, and screenwriter, died Sunday, age 73.
posted by ubiquity on Jul 31, 2017 - 59 comments

Toni Morrison In Conversation

Mario Kaiser & Sarah Ladipo Manyika in conversation with Toni Morrison
posted by infini on Jul 4, 2017 - 2 comments

This was the sound, this was the sound I saw

Nigerian American writer Teju Cole also takes vivid photographs which, in his latest book, Blind Spot, he matches with passages of allusive prose. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Jun 25, 2017 - 7 comments

"Grannifer’s Legacy" was published two months ago

For many, writing a book is a “bucket list” item — something you want to do while you’re still alive to do it. For a Dorset, England woman named Trish Vickers, that was certainly true. In 2010 or 2011, Vickers — then age 59 — decided to pick up a pen and paper and put words to page, much like other aspiring writers would. But Vickers’ story wasn’t the same as others. First, she refused to type her story — she wanted to write her book by hand. And second, she was blind; she lost her sight to diabetes a few years earlier.
posted by Etrigan on May 4, 2017 - 5 comments

A legal alternative to academic publishing paywalls

Unpaywall is a web browser extension which finds free versions of paywalled or fee-to-view articles. Launched in early April, it provides an interface to a database of 86+ million digital object identifiers (DOIs). When an Unpaywall user lands on the page of a research article, the software scours thousands of institutional repositories, preprint servers, and websites like PubMed Central to see if an open-access copy of the article is available. If it is, users can click a small green tab on the side of the screen to view a PDF. The developers say Unpaywall , track or store any personal information. Developed by Impactstory and funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Alternatives are available... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 12, 2017 - 10 comments

We're Most Certainly Post-Something

The Morning News asks a collection of editors, journalists, writers, and activists: what were the Most and Least important stories of the year?
posted by The Whelk on Dec 31, 2016 - 11 comments

Conversations with Tyler

Tyler Cowen is an economics professor and chairman / general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Since April 2015, he has been hosting "Conversations with Tyler", lengthy, one-on-one podcast interviews with "thought leaders from across the spectrum?—?economists, entrepreneurs, authors and innovators. All have one thing in common?—?they are making an impact on the world because of their ideas." His latest is with Steven Pinker. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 4, 2016 - 16 comments

RIP Gloria Naylor

Gloria Naylor, author of The Women of Brewster Place, passed away on Sept. 28 at the age of 66.
posted by girlmightlive on Oct 3, 2016 - 20 comments

Llama llama red pajama feels alone without his mama

"Children’s author, illustrator, and educator Anna Dewdney, whose toddler-centric picture books starring wildly expressive Baby Llama are multi-million-copy bestsellers, died at her home in Vermont on Saturday, September 3, after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. She was 50." — [more inside]
posted by brentajones on Sep 6, 2016 - 30 comments

“What bothers me is the way people were applauding him.”

To "more fully understand why conservative [American] politics [has] become synonymous with no-questions-asked support of Israel," Author Tom Bissell went on a ten day “Stand with Israel Tour” hosted by right-wing Jewish Conservative talk show pundit Dennis Prager. My Holy Land Vacation: Touring Israel with 450 Christian Zionists, is this month’s Harper’s Magazine cover story. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 12, 2016 - 29 comments

I've won the game of not taking myself too seriously.

No more Mr. Nice guy - From Kenfig schoolboy to international drug importer via an Oxford education.
By the mid-1980s Howard Marks had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines and 25 companies operating throughout the world. Wiki is informative
As he said of himself .
A Rhondda man
recalls as does another welshman. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Apr 11, 2016 - 16 comments

A Century of Beverly Cleary

“I owe my literacy learning and appreciation to a mother who loved reading, read aloud, and believed in the use of the public library, and to my teachers who were strict in teaching the tools of writing.” Beverly Cleary celebrates her hundredth birthday next week. She recently spoke to the Oregonian about her long career. [more inside]
posted by tractorfeed on Apr 7, 2016 - 34 comments

“It's fierce, an' it's wild..."

RIP Barry Hines, author of A Kestrel for a Knave that was adapted into the British film classic Kes. He also wrote the screenplay for Threads. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 21, 2016 - 16 comments

“Truly no, I am not Elena Ferrante,”

Who is Elena Ferrante? Novelist issues denial as guessing game goes on. by Rosie Scammell [The Guardian] Unmasking the true identity of the pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante has become Italy’s favourite – and increasingly farcical – literary parlour game. The latest writer forced to deny that she is the creator of the critically acclaimed Neapolitan novels is Marcella Marmo, a professor of contemporary history at the University of Naples Federico II. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 19, 2016 - 25 comments

RIP Pat Conroy

Best-selling author Pat Conroy has died at the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on Mar 5, 2016 - 28 comments

The Trials of Alice Goffman

‘‘Alice used a writing style that today you can’t really use in the social sciences.’’ He sighed and began to trail off. ‘‘In the past,’’ he said with some astonishment, ‘‘they really did write that way.’’ The book smacked, some sociologists argued, of a kind of swaggering adventurism that the discipline had long gotten over. Goffman became a proxy for old and unsettled arguments about ethnography that extended far beyond her own particular case. What is the continuing role of the qualitative in an era devoted to data? When the politics of representation have become so fraught, who gets to write about whom? [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 13, 2016 - 60 comments

You still writing? You in any newspapers?

Chris Rose’s Pulitzer crystal sits in his small French Quarter apartment, its glass badly chipped from various accidents. The disfigured accolade for his work on a reporting team at the Times-Picayune is a reminder of both prowess and loss... Since then, New Orleans’ news community has seemingly cast Rose aside. No journalism entity in town will hire him, he tells me, not even freelance... And so for all of 2014, the 53-year-old Rose was waiting tables to pay rent and feed his three kids.
The irredeemable Chris Rose
posted by spinda on Jan 4, 2016 - 19 comments

You write funny.

The Writers Guild of America has released their list of The 101 Funniest Screenplays.
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 14, 2015 - 126 comments

Dear Friends

A contemporary fictional account of promoting contemporary fiction.
posted by DarlingBri on Oct 8, 2015 - 4 comments

“People always leave traces. No person is without a shadow.”

Henning Mankell, Dean of Scandinavian Noir Writers, Dies at 67 [The New York Times]
Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist and playwright best known for police procedurals that were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world, died Monday morning in Goteborg, Sweden. He was 67. Mr. Mankell was considered the dean of the so-called Scandinavian noir writers who gained global prominence for novels that blended edge-of-your-seat suspense with flawed, compelling protagonists and strong social themes. The genre includes Arnaldur Indridason of Iceland, Jo Nesbo of Norway and Stieg Larsson of Sweden, among others.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Oct 5, 2015 - 34 comments

“I like the half-rhyme. I like 'greatest' & 'played with'. That's good.”

Salman Rushdie Reads Drake Lyrics. [YouTube]
Salman Rushdie's a 68-year-old award-winning novelist but he can also spit bars — Drake's bars. In this clip from Exhibitionists, a new CBC Arts series premiering Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 4:30pm, watch Rushdie read selected lyrics from hip hop icon Drake.
posted by Fizz on Oct 2, 2015 - 2 comments

Palestinian journalist, Said K. Aburish, died on August 29

Three years ago today saw the end of Palestinian writer Saïd Aburish. Parkinson's disease, he was 77. Aburish chose America for education and early life experience that included Princeton, the US Army and Madison Avenue. Aburish went to ground after writing this book. Of all the obituaries, Marian Houk's of The Independent is by far the most knowing, and his keenest publisher had kind things to say. The Guardian said Aburish "did much to illuminate the relationship between the Middle East and the west," and "Aburish’s writing was notably blunt" said the New York Times. At Twitter, and Google. R.I.P.
posted by Schroder on Aug 29, 2015 - 3 comments

“I’m a white guy and an African; the son of Europeans and Mozambicans;”

Novelist Mia Couto discusses his hopes for conservation after the death of Cecil the lion, and his memories of Mozambique’s bloody civil war. [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 26, 2015 - 2 comments

China’s most controversial,most honored, most censored author

China’s Most Censored Author Published His Riskiest Book Yet [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 8, 2015 - 4 comments

“The dreams are the skeleton of all reality.”

James Salter, a ‘Writer’s Writer’ Short on Sales but Long on Acclaim, Dies at 90 [New York Times]
James Salter, whose intimately detailed novels and short stories kept a small but devoted audience in his thrall for more than half a century, died on Friday in Sag Harbor, N.Y. He was 90. His wife, Kay Eldredge, confirmed his death, saying he had been at a physical therapy session. He lived in Bridgehampton, N.Y. Mr. Salter wrote slowly, exactingly and, by almost every critic’s estimation, beautifully. Michael Dirda once observed in The Washington Post that “he can, when he wants, break your heart with a sentence.”
Previously. Previously.
posted by Fizz on Jun 20, 2015 - 14 comments

Frantumaglia

Elena Ferrante, the author of the Neapolitan Novels, discusses how she shapes her stories, her characters, and her decision to remain out of the public eye
posted by PussKillian on Jun 10, 2015 - 9 comments

“Doubt makes a man decent.”

Harry Crews: Guilty As Charged [YouTube]
Examines the life and work of Harry Crews. Appearances by James Dickey, Byron Crews, Maggie Powell, Johnny Fieber and William Schafer. Music by Frank Schaap and Byron Crews. Associate Producers: Robert Morris and Latelle Lafollette. Camera and Lighting by Mike Brower and Arthur Rouse. Edited by Tom Thurman and Mike Brower.
Previously.
posted by Fizz on Jun 9, 2015 - 10 comments

The Master of the Apocalypse

László Krasznahorkai, the Hungarian author, wins the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. Awarded for his work, including the only recently available in English Satantango, and the The Melancholy of Resistance (1993 Book of the Year in Germany). Master of the long sentence his work has won praise from critics as a writer who is "fascinated by apocalypse, by broken revelations, indecipherable messages" [See New Yorker link above] and has been praised by many writers, including Susan Sontag, who described the apocalyptic vision of his writing as inviting comparisons to Melville and Gogol. He has collaborated extensively with Hungarian film director and master of the long take, Béla Tarr, including a 7 hour production of Satantango (SLYT) and Tarr's bleak, final work The Turin Horse (SLYT, Hungarian, turn sub-titles if required). Lovingly and expertly translated into English by British poet and Hungarian-born George Szirtes and more latterly by the Hungarian translator Ottilie Muzlet, Krashnorkai caused something of a literary sensation when he visited New York in 2012. As usual The Guardian has a useful summary of, and guide to, his work including many useful links. None are better than the author's own website. I would also recommend the interview with him in The White Review to read what the author has to say for himself. Previous love for Krasznahorkai on Metafilter can be found here and here.
posted by vac2003 on May 20, 2015 - 7 comments

"...it has been enormously fun being two people."

K.J. Parker’s Identity Revealed
For 17 years - since the publication of Colours in the Steel - the identity of K.J. Parker has been one of fantasy literature's most tightly-kept secrets. Now, after a dozen novels, a collection of short stories, a handful of essays and two World Fantasy Award wins, K.J. Parker has stepped forward...
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Apr 23, 2015 - 37 comments

"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open."

Günter Grass, German Novelist and Social Critic, Dies at 87 [New York Times]
Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country’s moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday. He was 87.
Previously. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 13, 2015 - 36 comments

Elia W. Peattie: Collecting the work of a 19th Century Author

The Nonpareil of Council Bluffs has a new editor who says uncomplimentary and fairly humorous things about the 'new woman' — which show him to be an 'old man.’
Elia Wilkinson Peattie (1862-1935) was an incredibly prolific journalist, novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer during a time of great American change. Dr. Susanne George Bloomfield of the University of Nebraska (supported by the The Plains Humanities Alliance) has gathered a wide sampling of her work in this digital archive, adding context and historical reference to the original works. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 15, 2015 - 2 comments

“I think it’s about authenticity,”

[The Guardian]
‘I have never met a writer who wishes to be described as a female writer, gay writer, black writer, Asian writer or African writer’ … Aminatta Forna on her frustration at the book world’s obsession with labels and identity.
posted by Fizz on Feb 13, 2015 - 10 comments

anxieties about lurid voyeurism, unwholesome interest: In Cold Blood

which comes out in weekly installments even as the show’s host, Sarah Koenig, reinvestigates the conviction of a Baltimore-area teenager for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. The serialized approach teases its audience with cliffhangers, prompts its listeners to construct their own theories and invites outsiders to glimpse the tricky winnowing process of reporting. But 'Serial' also testifies to how much the criminal justice system itself is founded on storytelling." (Laura Miller, Salon: The new "In Cold Blood" revisionism: Why it doesn't matter if Capote’s classic wasn't fully true) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 8, 2014 - 31 comments

Tyranny is the removal of nuance. See ballroom dancing.

Guardian: Alexei Sayle’s Marxist demolition of Strictly Come Dancing. In which the English Marxist-Leninist comedian and author details his dislike of the British version of Dancing with the Stars.
posted by Wordshore on Nov 30, 2014 - 54 comments

Ripping up the SFF-Scene Requires Hate

Requires Hate, aka Benjanun Sriduangkaew, is a multiple, serial & proven bully, liar & manipulator says fantasy author Juliet McKenna. She and other authors (like Ian McDonald) are taking up arms in the controversy around the machinations of one writer that are shaking up the SFF publishing world. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Nov 7, 2014 - 151 comments

An enthusiastic public reading journal.....

In Praise of Anne Rice's Amazon Reviews
posted by The Whelk on Oct 19, 2014 - 30 comments

'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic

When a bad review of her first novel appeared online, Kathleen Hale was warned not to respond. But she soon found herself wading in (The Guardian)
posted by Quilford on Oct 18, 2014 - 118 comments

When Science Fiction Grew Up

How renegade sci-fi writers of the 1960s paved the way for today's blending of literary and genre fiction [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 15, 2014 - 34 comments

"I guess everybody has something they’re not very grown-up about."

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, author of 43 books for children and young adults, died from complications of a stroke on October 7, 2014.She won three Newberry Honor Awards
posted by jeather on Oct 14, 2014 - 53 comments

"You hide, they seek."

Thomas Pynchon and the Myth of the Reclusive Author By David Whelan [VICE]
posted by Fizz on Oct 13, 2014 - 44 comments

'the jingle allegedly contained a grammatical error.'

Why Academic Writing Stinks, by Steven Pinker
The curse of knowledge is a major reason that good scholars write bad prose. It simply doesn’t occur to them that their readers don’t know what they know—that those readers haven’t mastered the patois or can’t divine the missing steps that seem too obvious to mention or have no way to visualize an event that to the writer is as clear as day. And so they don’t bother to explain the jargon or spell out the logic or supply the necessary detail. Obviously, scholars cannot avoid technical terms altogether. But a surprising amount of jargon can simply be banished, and no one will be the worse for it.
Pinker's new book, a style guide, The Sense of the Style, has ten grammar rules it's OK to break (sometimes). He talks to Edge on Writing in the 21st Century, which includes the occasional fMRI.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 1, 2014 - 67 comments

"So I took up knife and fork and bade the waiter do his duty."

Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis was engaged in 1897 as the restaurant reviewer of the Pall Mall Gazette, and his reviews of London restaurants are collected in Dinners and Diners: Where and How to Dine in London, available online from The Dictionary of Victorian London. Newnham-Davis was a bon vivant, amateur of the theatrical world, and man of parts, and his reviews were equal parts reminiscence of the conversation with his pseudonymous companions and recollections and reviews of his opulent and lengthy Victorian dinners. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Sep 27, 2014 - 28 comments

"distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car"

"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.

Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
[more inside] posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 20, 2014 - 29 comments

"The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon."

"The du Maurier sisters had, from their volatile, crowded childhood onward, formed this private country they could slip in and out of, where "menaces" and "Venetian tendencies" could be freely discussed. In other words, they found a way to use games of pretend to tell the absolute truth." - Carrie Frye on author Daphne du Maurier and her seminal gothic novel, Rebecca.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 19, 2014 - 13 comments

“Some people feed you with love.”

"Graham Joyce was a monumental writer in the fantasy genre. His humane, intense writing was like a masterclass in how to put story first, and he knew how to write people, with all our blind spots and our hopeful mistakes. He died today of lymphatic cancer, and it's a huge loss to fantasy literature."
[
more inside] posted by Fizz on Sep 9, 2014 - 18 comments

...in English, when someone is crazy, it's always in a food way?

Grub Street Diet asks various notable people to keep a food dairy for a week and then share it with the world. However, when they ask the "poet laureate of Twitter" (previously) author Patricia Lockwood to contribute, things so a little differently.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 6, 2014 - 24 comments

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