- We Need Diverse Books Launches #BooksSaveLives Initiative Against Censorship
- Top 10 dissenting life stories
- The 50 Best Biographies of All Time
- ‘I want to savour every word’: the joy of reading slowly
- ‘Our mission is crucial’: meet the warrior librarians of Ukraine
- The Duty to Tell a Good Story
- This AI chatbot is dominating social media with its frighteningly good essays
We Need Diverse Books, an organization formed in 2014 “to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the publishing industry,” has launched its #BooksSaveLives initiative with “as much as $10,000 in grants to schools and libraries in underserved communities so they can purchase challenged and banned books for their collections.”
Categories: Censorship, Publishing
“From Doris Lessing’s frank memoirs of social change to less famous campaigners in decisive struggles, these accounts provide an inspiring look ‘into the window’ of history.”
Sheila Rowbotham, author of Daring to Hope: My Life in the 1970s, writes, “Realising there were alternative ways to think about yourself and how to live, I became a cerebral rebel.” Here she talks about 10 life stories of dissenters she’s including in her manuscript about the 1980s.
Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literature & Culture
Adam Morgan, a literary critic and founder of the Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, and Chicago Literary Archive, offers this list of best biographies, including those of several literary figures.
Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Nonfiction
I usually report every article about slow reading that I come across. Considering this topic is particularly appropriate at this time of year, when reports of how many books people have read this year begin to show up on book blogs. Here Susie Mesure explains why she sometimes purposely slows down in order to spend more time in the world of a particular novel.
Category: Reading, Slow Reading
“When Russia invaded Ukraine, a key part of its strategy was to destroy historic libraries in order to eradicate the Ukrainians’ sense of identity. But Putin hadn’t counted on the unbreakable spirit of the country’s librarians.”
Category: Libraries, Literature & Culture
Imani Perry describes her recent experience reading The Use of History, a book by British historian A.L. Rowse first published in 1963. One of the issues she raises is the question of whether history is a science or an art: “The answer is, according to Rowse, at once ‘both’ and ‘it depends.’”
“Truth isn’t just factual. Truth requires context,” Imani writes. She goes on to explain how the story of Amanda America Dickson, born a slave but later freed, provides such context:
Amanda’s story is strange and unique. It isn’t representative of slavery or the color line, nor does it give us a window into how race functioned in the 19th century. To write her story, as some historians have, in a way that is historically sound requires an attention to how much it isn’t a common one at all.
This description sounds particularly relevant to historical fiction, the function of which is to illuminate a period of history by focusing on individual lives, whether the stories of those lives are based on historical documents or completely imaginary.
Categories: Fiction, Life Stories in Literature
Over the last couple of weeks or so I’ve seen several news reports about the ability of AI (artificial intelligence) to create written documents. More specifically, I’ve seen posts on social media by people who’ve experimented with ChatGPT. This article explains what ChatGPT is and what issues it—and similar programs—raise.
© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown