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Literary Links

10 Books You Pretend to Have Read (And Why You Should Really Read Them)

Gizmodo Australia:

We asked some of our favourite writers, and they told us the 10 classic books that everyone pretends to have read,  and why you should actually read them.

From Asimov to Pynchon, science fiction contains some fantastic, ambitious works of genre fiction. But a lot of us get overwhelmed. And it’s not that hard to fake a first-hand knowledge of these books, because they’re everywhere, and we’ve heard people talk about them so many times. We SF fans are good at pretending. But these books are classics for a reason — and they’re worth reading.

Category: Book Recommendations

Daniel Pink and Susan Cain on the Art of Writing

What do we lose when we avoid sorrow and chase empty delights, when we mask our pain and feign cheerfulness, when we profess to have no regrets and insist on turning every frown upside down? Those questions are at the heart of two new books by Next Big Idea Club curators Susan Cain (Bittersweet) and Daniel Pink (The Power of Regret).

Categories: Author News, Writing

The Path to Writing a Biography

In Author magazine, Sam Weller discusses how he came to be Ray Bradbury’s biographer:

Certainly, every biographer of a living writer or artist has their own decidedly singular path to their subject. In my case, my biography, The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury (HarperPerennial, 2006) grew out a profile I wrote about the author on the occasion of his 80th birthday for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine. But truth be told, there is a more chimerical backstory that begins long before this. The story behind my becoming Ray Bradbury’s biographer was, well, rather Bradburian.

Categories: Author News, Literary History, Writing

Living at Xanadu: Ten writers muse on Joan Didion’s literary legacy

Articles continue to appear about American icon Joan Didion, who died last December (2021).

It’s not that Didion achieved legendary status by being glamorously jaded. It’s that the way she thought—and the way she put it down on paper—was singular in the truest sense of the word. Didion was the first and the best to frame it that way—whatever it and that way happened to be.

Categories: Author News, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Writing

The Beloved Japanese Novelist Who Became a Queer Manga Icon

“Nobuko Yoshiya’s stories of frustrated, forbidden love helped establish a genre read by millions.”

Sabrina Imbler writes about Nobuko Yoshiya, author of “novels that made her one of 20th-century Japan’s most successful writers,” who died in 1973.

Categories: Author News, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Writing

“She showed the way” — Viet Thanh Nguyen on Maxine Hong Kingston

Viet Thanh Nguyen, a former student of Maxine Hong Kingston’s at the University of California at Berkeley and now the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, is editor of the book Maxine Hong Kingston: The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, Other Writings, released this spring (2022) by Library of America. 

Here Nguyen discusses Kingston and her work: 

I think The Woman Warrior and China Men foreshadow a trend we see increasingly today, which is the book that refuses easy categorization in an established genre. For example, “autofiction” is rather popular today, a genre that blends fiction and autobiography. Arguably, The Woman Warrior and China Men are autofictions, where a character named Maxine (in The Woman Warrior) may or may not be Maxine Hong Kingston the person or the author, and whose life, real and/or imagined, mixes with her memories and made-up stories of family members. China Men also features family members, but who knows what is fact and fiction in the tales that the author weaves about them?

Categories: Author News, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Writing

7 Literary Pubs Where You Can Drink Like Your Favorite Authors

Some of the best literary work ever produced was written in a rather unlikely setting: the pub. For centuries, authors have settled into their favorite booth or barstool, thrown back a beer (or twelve), philosophized with their contemporaries, and conceived literary masterpieces. These are the literary pubs around the world where you can drink like your favorite authors.

Until our ability to travel globally improves, we’ll have to settle for fueling our imaginations with articles like this one.

Categories: Literary History, Writing

How to Listen to Audiobooks

I’ve long been a fan of audiobooks, all the way back to the time when they arrived in a box full of cassette tapes

In all my listening time, I’ve never been tempted to try listening at 1.5X or 2X speed. If you’re new to audiobooks, this article offers some suggestions on how to make the transition from print to audio and on where to find books to listen to.

Category: Audiobooks

Some Surprising Good News: Bookstores Are Booming and Becoming More Diverse

More than 300 bookstores have opened in the past couple of years — a revival that is meeting a demand for “real recommendations from real people.”

Category: Bookstores

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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