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Literary Links

With Rising Book Bans, Librarians Have Come Under Attack

“Caustic fights over which books belong on the shelves have put librarians at the center of a bitter and widening culture war.”

Not just books, but librarians themselves, have been verbally threatened and attacked as the number of censorship attacks increases across the U.S.

Categories: Censorship, Libraries, Literature & Culture

How to read: a guide to getting more out of the experience

Donna Lu addresses some of the big questions about reading that come up repeatedly: screens, speed, and—most important, to me—“rediscovering joy and meaning.”

Category: Reading

Unsettling Reading: Why Are Darker Women’s Stories Growing in Popularity?

Alice Nuttall discusses the publishing trend of “darker women’s stories,” which she says are prominent in “thrillers and dark historical fiction”: “these darker stories explore murder, abuse, postpartum depression, sexual violence, and other difficult topics.”

Nuttall finds the reasons for this trend “may lie not only in the books, but in the social and political background against which these books are written.”

Categories: Literature & Psychology, Literature & Culture, Publishing

How 19th-century literature spread the archetype of the ‘evil abortionist’

“After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, one aspect of the abortion debate stayed the same: lurid sensationalism,” writes Margaret Jay Jessee, professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In her book Female Physicians in American Literature: Abortion in 19th-Century Literature and Culture, Jessee “trace[s] this rhetoric to the 19th century, when popular media described female physicians as villainous, untrained abortionists who committed infanticide. It was an easy way for publishers of dime novels and tabloid newspapers to make a quick buck. Yet it seems that the discourse connecting abortion to murder and evil really hasn’t changed much since then.”

“for over two centuries, narratives about abortion have been stitched to American anxieties concerning gender, class, race and religion.”

Category: Literature & Culture

Inspector Morse Books in Order

From PBS comes this story about three of my favorite crime fiction TV series:

The cerebral TV detective Endeavour Morse first materialized in the bestselling crime novels by Colin Dexter. Morse was a fascinating new sort of cop, a sensitive soul in love with opera and poetry, not stereotypically weary and hard drinking. Inspector Morse proceeded to hook U.S. television audiences from 1988–2001, generated the sequel Inspector Lewis (2006–2016), and the prequel Endeavour (2012–) with Shaun Evans as the young Morse.

Category: Television

‘This is a perfect novel’: Sally Rooney on the book that transformed her life

“Published 70 years ago, All Our Yesterdays by Natalia Ginzburg is a secret the Normal People author had been waiting to discover”

Ginzburg’s work [All Our Yesterdays] is concerned, it seems to me more than anything, with the distinction between what is right and what is wrong. All Our Yesterdays approaches this question intellectually and ideologically, with an interest in the development of moral theories and belief systems; and it also and equally approaches this question from a practical and human point of view. In other words, it poses two questions of equal significance. Firstly, how do we know what is right? And secondly, how can we live by that knowledge?

—Sally Rooney

Categories: Author News, Book Recommendation, Literary Criticism

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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