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Literary Links

Reviewer Jeana Jorgensen Interviews Thomas Cirotteau, Coauthor of Lady Sapiens: Breaking Stereotypes about Prehistoric Women

The book Lady Sapiens “corrects mistaken stereotypes about prehistory, asserting the primacy of women in past societies and honoring the foremothers who advanced civilization with their art, knowledge, and power,” writes reviewer Jeana Jorgensen. “In reality,” she notes, “early women were hunters and gatherers, shamans and healers, artisans and leaders,” right alongside their male companions.”

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literature & Culture

Is Wikipedia a good source? 2 college librarians explain when to use the online encyclopedia – and when to avoid it

I’m no longer an academic, but I’m still leery about relying on Wikipedia for information. Here two faculty members from the University of Dayton explain exactly what Wikipedia is and how to—and not to—use it.

Categories: Nonfiction, Reading, Writing

The Lasting Power of Good Memories

Since memory is the basis of life stories, how people remember events is crucial in their process of composing their sense of self. Here science writer Lauren Gravitz summarizes psychological research about how human memory works.

Category: Life Stories in Literature

How the Victorians Created the Modern English Novel

Novelist Katie Lumsden, author of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall, explains why we’re still so interested in the Victorians:

The reason why the Victorian period still interests so many modern readers is because it is long ago but not too long ago. We find their world fascinating but recognizable enough to understand. We keep returning to the works of the Victorians because they wrote great novels, because they wrote so many of them, because they explored themes that still interest us today, because many of our foundational texts come from them. In short, the Victorian era is when modern English literature as we know it began.

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

15 Books You Won’t Regret Rereading

Bethanne Patrick offers “a list of 15 fiction titles from the past two decades that you may have forgotten about in the years since.” She explains why these books, as recent as they are, bear rereading:

These selections include plenty of drama, and there’s an undercurrent of gentle comedy, even in novels with dark themes or plots. Their characters define love in many different ways, and they seek fulfillment across geographies and time periods—contemporary London, Vichy France, Nigeria, North Korea. Ultimately, these stories are bound together by a compassion for their characters’ struggles and shortcomings—a quality that only our finest writers are able to cultivate.

And, I conclude, if you haven’t yet read some of these (as I haven’t), they’re worth a first reading as well.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Reading

The Museum Director Who Stayed Behind to Defend Ukrainian Literature

“Putin has undertaken the systematic annihilation of the country’s identity and culture. Tetyana Pylypchuk and the staff of Kharkiv’s Literary Museum are fighting back.”

A heartbreaking story of the struggle to preserve Ukrainian literature and culture from extermination by Russian attacks. 

Categories: Libraries, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

How ‘Succession’ feeds the hidden fantasies of its well-to-do viewers

If you’re gearing up for the fourth and final season of HBO’s megahit Succession, Robert Samuels, lecturer in writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara, addresses the question “Where’s the appeal in watching a group of obnoxious, pampered, backstabbing siblings?”

It’s easy to assume that much of the show’s appeal lies in its playful critiques of right-wing media and the billionaire class.

But in my view, the show actually caters to an audience that wants to condemn the main characters – while secretly identifying with their pursuit of power and pleasure.

Categories: Story, Television

Picking a Point of View for Your Story

One of the first decisions a fiction writer has to make is what point of view to tell the story from. Understanding how point of view works can also help readers understand what is happening in the story. In this article Tiffany Yates Martin, who has worked in publishing for nearly 30 years, digs deep into point of view.

Categories: Fiction, How Fiction Works, Reading, Writing

Why I Decided to Update the Language in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Children’s Books

After the recent hubbub over modernizing the language in books by Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, I found this article by Theo Downes-Le Guin, the son and literary executor of Ursula K. Le Guin, very interesting: “she left me a clue: a note over her desk asking, ‘Is it true? Is it necessary or at least useful? Is it compassionate or at least unharmful?’”

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

Summer Reads 2023

I’ve just finished copying most of my list of books to be read in March over to April in my planner. But if you’re still looking for titles to put on your summer reading list, Publishers Weekly has you covered. This is the landing page from which you can link to several categories: staff picks, fiction, mystery/thriller, romance, SF/fantasy/horror, comics, nonfiction, picture books, middle grade, and young adult.

Categories: Book Recommendations, Reading

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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