Recent Articles on Books, Authors, and All Things Literary
What a great local story about the power of the human spirit—and of the written word. The judges were unaware of Angel Gardner’s background and current living situation when they chose her to be Seattle’s Youth Poet Laureate:
Gardner’s poems — explicit and raw on matters of race, homelessness and abuse — “feel urgent when you read them, in a way that seems important for folks to pay attention to,” said one of the judges, Aaron Counts.
Please read this story and pass it on.
So you thought we’d seen the last of Harry Potter? NOT!
Here were a host of memorable characters, many of them making what amount to quick cameo appearances, much as a star might drop into a movie for a few minutes. Here were a second generation of new characters, including Scorpius, the unexpectedly delightful son of the decidedly undelightful Draco Malfoy, and of course the troubled Albus [Harry’s son], whose adolescent struggles to make sense of himself, his friends and his family form the focus of the play.
An interesting graphic, even if it does perpetuate an inaccuracy that is one of my pet peeves.
To wit: in medias res, which isn’t even spelled correctly here. It’s also not defined quite correctly, but that’s a common mistake. Just about every literary handbook in the world tells you that this Latin phrase means “in the middle of things.” Except that it doesn’t; it means “into the middle of things.”
A book that begins in medias res throws readers into the middle of things, right into the action, where they must quickly figure out what’s going on.
I reported on the introduction of Lit Hub’s Book Marks here. When I took my first look at the site, which assigns letter grades to books on the basis of published reviews, I thought that the grades looked high.
Alex Shephard, writing for The New Republic, has the same impression:
Lit Hub uses an A-F grading system. But none of the books are remotely in danger of flunking.
The reviews themselves have been pulled from 70 publications, including The New Republic, but only a few have been graded below a B-
Shephard looks at the state of literary criticism—and there are a lot of informative links in the article—before concluding that “literary criticism, like America’s universities, is suffering from severe grade inflation.”
© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown