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Literary Links

9 Unputdownable Historical Fiction Picks for Pride Month

Off the Shelf recommends “some of the most moving, passionate, and unputdownable works of queer historical fiction, whisking us from the streets of Victorian London to ancient Greece, gilded New York City, and beyond.”

Categories: Book Recommendations, Fiction

Summer reading: 5 books on the joys and challenges of LGBTQ teen and young adult life

Jonathan Alexander, an English professor with a scholarly interest in the interplay between sexuality and literature, recommends five books. 

Categories: Book Recommendations, Fiction

Monstrosity Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Ellen Datlow on the origin and development of the concept of monstrosity: “Monsters are our mirrors: in them, we see who we hope we are not, in order to understand who we are.”

Category: Literature & Psychology

The Transformations of Pinocchio

Joan Acocella writes in The New Yorker about the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio, which, she says, many Americans call their least favorite Disney movie. Acocella compares the Disney film to the source material, the novel Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Italian writer Carlo Collodi.

you don’t have to be an Italian to identify with Pinocchio. For many audiences worldwide, he is the spirit of disobedience. No sooner is he born than he establishes his independence from his creator, Geppetto. Not long after that, he also, in a sense, parts ways with Collodi, whose original conception was very different from the finished book. Since then, Pinocchio has continually refused to be tied down, roaming freely across the world’s visual culture, always different but always recognizably himself.

Categories: Fiction, Film, Literature & Culture, Literature & Psychology

Fantasy Failed to See Me, So I Wrote Myself In

“The genre that shaped me never did right by its queer characters. Now, I’m writing the television show my teenage self needed.”

Writer V.E. Schwab writes that in most of the television shows she watched as a teenager: “in order for a queer character to matter, to move the narrative needle, they had to be miserable, tormented, dead.” She wanted to be the lead character, the hero. But “every character I liked had one glaring thing in common: they were almost always men.”

So she wrote “20+ novels, many of which feature queer leads (or, pre-dating my own understanding of my identity, outsiders who felt at odds with their bodies, their families, their worlds), and all of which feature characters I wanted—and needed—to see.”

Here Schwab writes about her experience working on the TV show First Kill.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Television, Literature & Culture, Writing

17 Readers Share the Book They Still Think About Years Later

BookBub asked, and readers replied. See the list of books readers said they’ll never forget.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Reading

Someone Else’s Language

Kate Vieira writes with great insight about her experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in “the former Soviet country of Latvia,” where she arrived in 1999 at the age of 22:

linguistic and nationalistic propaganda is effective. As a friend who grew up in the Soviet Union recently reminded me, everyone there had been sure that it was Reagan who was going to bomb them.

And language shapes reality: “It’s never language itself that creates conflict or, for that matter, builds peace. It’s people who choose to use language, that intimate and uniquely human resource, as a blunt weapon of colonization.”

Categories: Literature & Culture

The Books Swallowed by the Black Hole of the Coronavirus

“Some spectacular titles had the terrible luck of being released in early 2020. They still deserve our attention.”

Chelsea Leu takes a look at some of the books published at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many of us had trouble concentrating long enough to read. 

Category: Reading

LGBTQ Fiction Sales Surge in the U.S.

Categories: Publishing, Reading, Literature & Culture

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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