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Literary Links

Ten Books to Understand the Abortion Debate in the United States

“Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion. Now that the court has overturned Roe v. Wade, here are 10 books that outline the history and the terms of the debate.”

Joshua Prager put this list together for the New York Times. Here’s the bio of Prager given at the end of the article:

Joshua Prager is the author of “The Family Roe: An American Story,” a dual biography of Roe v. Wade and its plaintiff, Jane Roe. Written over the course of a decade, the book tells the story of abortion in America through people, not politics, and was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Nonfiction

5 Ways to Think About Social Injustice Through Crime Fiction

Writer Alyssa Cole (author, most recently, of When No One Is Watching) believes that genre fiction “can hold up a magnifying glass to the fault lines in our societies, and shine light into the deep dark crevasses where untold stories of social injustice and discord are dumped like bodies.” She writes that crime fiction “can be an especially useful genre for this kind of exploration” and explains how five particular novels do so.

Categories: Fiction, Literature & Culture, Literature & Psychology

Adult Books for Fall 2022

From Publishers Weekly comes this list of “notable books of fall and winter in 15 categories.” Books noted here will be published between August 1, 2022, and January 31, 2023.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Publishing

The book that tore publishing apart: ‘Harm has been done, and now everyone’s afraid’

“Kate Clanchy’s memoir about teaching won the Orwell prize. Then, a year later, it became the centre of a storm that would engulf the lives of the author, her critics and dozens of people in the book trade. So what happened?”

This is a story I had not heard of, probably because it plays out in the U.K. But the description sounds eerily familiar here in the U.S.:

What follows is a tale that reverberates well beyond publishing. It’s about whose voice is heard, which stories are told, and by whom. But it has broader implications for working life, too, particularly in industries where so-called culture wars raging through the outside world can no longer be left at the office door.

Categories: Publishing, Censorship, Life Stories in Literature

‘A little bit addictive and the right amount hard’: new video game is based on poems of Emily Dickinson

“The 80s-style shooter EmilyBlaster is a real-life version of a game featured in Gabrielle Zevin’s forthcoming novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow”

And I’ve just chosen Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow from the July offerings of Book of the Month.

EmilyBlaster is a real-life version of the fictional game that a character makes in Gabrielle Zevin’s novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, out next month. Zevin’s book is about Sadie and Sam, who first meet as children in a hospital computer room in 1987. Eight years later, they are reunited and begin to work together making computer games.

Categories: Literary History, Literature & Culture, Fiction

Anatomy of a book banning

Author Dave Eggers investigates the banning of his novel The Circle and four other books from the list of recommended reading for high school seniors in Rapid City, South Dakota, in the U.S.

How all this happened is instructive. In fact, it might be a blueprint for how any school district can be overtaken by the narrow interests of people and groups without a direct stake in the schools. One such person is the president of the Rapid City school board, Kate Thomas.

Category: Censorship

Marina Warner Sees the Myths in Our Moment

“Warner has spent decades studying how our oldest stories speak to modern life, from the lure of fake news to the politics of abortion.”

Marina Warner, the English writer, lecturer, and former president of the Royal Society of Literature, is an authority on things that don’t exist. Magic spells, monstrous beasts, pregnant virgins—if the imagination can conjure it, she has probably written about it in one of her almost forty books, which quarry myths, folk and fairy tales, and religious texts for the human truths that they reveal.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literature & Psychology, Literature & Culture

 8 Retellings of Fairytales, Myths, and Folklore

Fairytales, myths, folklore, urban legends, all of those compact, strange stories that we pass from person to person and between generations—they’re the first stories we encounter, a medium for transmitting ideas and expectations, a window into our individual and our collective imaginations. All of this, and they still have to be entertaining enough to hold our interest.

“The stories we choose to tell—and how we choose to tell them—speak to what we value,” writes Kathryn Harlan in introducing her list of these retellings.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literature & Psychology, Literature & Culture

Shock ending: how the Costa book awards changed reading – and pitted husband against wife

“After 50 years, the prize has been scrapped. How did it change Britain’s literary landscape? And what happened at the awards when Margaret Drabble was seated next to Theresa May?”

The sad story of the demise of a literary award that “For 50 years, . . . spread a wide and egalitarian net across different genres, supporting bookshops as well as writers and publishers (later panels would include a bookseller).”

Categories: Awards & Prizes, Publishing, Reading

What we’re reading: writers and readers on the books they enjoyed in June

A list of recommendations from The Guardian.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Reading

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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