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Literary Links

I Needed to Know if My Favorite Books Were Products of Cultural Appropriation

We hear the term cultural appropriation often in publishing circles, but what exactly does it mean? Filipino American writer Cindy Fazzi wanted to evaluate whether the novels she grew up loving were examples of cultural appropriation that gave her inaccurate or inadequate pictures of cultures other than her own. In this thoughtful article she first discusses the meaning of cultural appropriation, then evaluates works of three white male authors that depict foreign cultures:

  • John Steinbeck’s California novels
  • Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth
  • E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India

Synthetic Voices Want to Take Over Audiobooks

Anyone with any experience at all interfacing with Alexa or Siri can tell you, without even sampling the offerings, why this is NOT a good idea.

Memory involves the whole body. It’s how the self defies amnesia

Since memory and its loss—amnesia—commonly come up in mysteries and thrillers, pieces like this always pique my interest. Here Ben Platts-Mills takes a philosophical approach to how people with severe brain injuries have “found new ways to stabilise and feed their sense of self through action: through habits and roles that allow them to keep growing and learning.”

How to plan your novel

Here’s an extensive primer on how to plan and build the necessary habits that will allow you to conceive and then complete the “80,000 words or so” that comprise a novel.

The article, which is more for aspiring writers than those who’ve already written novels, contains specific discussions of the areas you’ll have to learn and suggestions on resources to consult.

Place is Not a Character—It is Its Own Story

In an earlier post on how setting works in literature, I wrote that one possibility is setting as character. Here, fiction writer Morgan Thomas explains how to think of place not as a character, but as something “sentient, determining, the ecology with which other beings in our stories co-create their lives.”

Bernardine Evaristo on the richness of older women’s stories.

Bernardine Evaristo discusses how she couldn’t have written her well-received novel Girl, Woman, Other earlier in her life: “I completed it when I was 60 years of age — with a substantial past behind me and facing a future of fewer years than I’ve already lived.”

Dutch Publisher Apologizes Over Disputed Anne Frank Book

From the New York Times:

The Dutch publisher of “The Betrayal of Anne Frank,” a new book scholars have criticized for putting forward inconclusive findings, apologized for “offending anyone” in an email sent to its authors, and said it would delay printing more copies of the book until further notice.

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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