Landmark Massachusetts Building Where Wharton Wrote Faces Foreclosure – New York Times
“The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate in Lenox, Mass., is in danger of being put in foreclosure.” To stay open, The Mount needs to raise $3 million by March 24.
Archive for February, 2008
The Columbia Spectator heads to Hawaii with the novel Heads by Harry:
Lois-ann Yamanaka is exceptionally gifted at making the unusual and unsavory seem exotic and entrancing—taxidermy is “true art, not a painting or poem, inaccurate and prone to interpretation, but breathing life into flesh drawing breath.” She also renders the Hawaiian landscape as something beyond simply lush. Instead, it is a land full of diverse elements and peoples.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby continues to inspire urban youth, many of whom are immigrants, with its portrayal of the American dream. The book is still required reading in half the high schools in the U.S. It sells about half a million copies a year, mostly to high school and college students.
What accounts for the novel’s continuing popularity?
teachers at Boston Latin and other urban schools, say their students see in “Gatsby” glimmers of their own evolving identities and dreams. The students talk about the youthful characters — Gatsby; Daisy Buchanan, the married woman he loves; Tom, Daisy’s husband and a onetime Yale football star; and the narrator, Nick Carraway — as if they were classmates or celebrities.
The Columbia Spectator is back, with its entry for Alaska, The Man Who Swam With Beavers, a collection of short stories by Nancy Lord. “At the heart of the conservation debate, and with a population divided between Native Americans, recent locals, and businessmen, Alaska is a state at war with its elements—and this unique quality is what Lord’s stories capture best.”
50 States of Literature: Wide Open North Dakota | Columbia Spectator
Here’s the entry for North Dakota, Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River, which describes “a land where the wilderness inspires not only awed romance, but also a cosmic sense of fear and danger.”
Following an earlier report that some striking Hollywood screenwriters are using their off time to work on novels, here’s a follow-up: Some striking screenwriters for children’s shows are funneling their creative ideas into children’s books that will be published later this year.
But don’t think that a children’s book is something writers can just toss off in their spare time:
Writing for kids is tough, says Jerry Griswold, director of the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in San Diego, Calif. It took Maurice Sendak 8 years to draft the 300-word classic “Where the Wild Things Are.”