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6 Mid-Life Memoirs of Transformative Years

“6 Life-Changing Memoirs”

“What would it take for you to transform your life? Could you do it in the span of a year or two? Spurred on by loss, career changes, new hobbies — or even a global pandemic — what if your life could become something new? In these six memoirs, we learn about women who have transformed their lives through the exploration of new ventures and uncharted emotional territory.”

Category: Memoir

The Backist: Revisiting Ethel Lina White’s “The Lady Vanishes” with Andrea Bartz

Novelist Andrea Bartz discusses how she learned about suspense from the 1936 novel The Lady Vanishes by British mystery author Ethel Lina White.

Categories: How Fiction Works, Literary Criticism, Writing

Two moms are at the center of the fight against book banning in America: ‘It’s exhausting’

The Los Angeles Times profiles two mothers who have worked together to found the Florida Freedom to Read Project in a reaction to Moms for Liberty, a national (U.S.) organization that endorses candidates for school boards across the country with an eye toward challenging books that they object to in schools.  “Moms for Liberty criticizes what it regards as an agenda-driven education system that emphasizes race, gender and diversity at the expense of core subjects.” 

Category: Censorship

4 classic books that teach deep insights through unlikable protagonists

I’ve said many times that I don’t need to like fictional characters, though I do need to understand them. Here Tim Brinkhof cites four books that use unlikable protagonists to “teach important lessons in unexpected ways.”

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Psychology, Reading

Anne Berest’s Best Story Came From Deep in Her Family’s Past

Anne Berest’s 2021 novel The Postcard became a bestseller in France when it was published; the book is now being published in the U.S. In this interview Berest discusses how her family history underlies the novel.

Categories: Fiction, Writing

The Work of the Audiobook

“From 2011 to 2017, the number of new audiobooks produced each year grew from 7,200 to more than 46,000. . . . And the market for audiobooks is expected to grow still further, reaching a projected valuation of $19.7 billion by 2028.”

Three professors discuss the rise of audiobooks, which “have become such a driving economic force in the publishing industry that they have spawned their own dedicated networks of promotion, circulation, and consecration.” I found especially the analysis of how audiobook narrators perform “the functions of author, text, and reader. Like the author, the narrator is the person from whom the text emanates.”

Categories: Audiobooks, Publishing

Heroes Get Better With Age: 10 Middle-Aged Protagonists in SFF

science fiction and fantasy don’t have to center only young people. Older adults can answer the call to adventure just as easily as the younger ones. And in these 10 novels, it’s middle-aged protagonists that take center stage. These middle-aged protagonists in SFF go on epic adventures, take on dangerous quests, and prove that even heroes get better with age.

After all, you’re never too old to go on an adventure or start a new life. And the wisdom and experience gained with age can be a big help in such undertakings.

Category: Older Adults in Literature

Why Do We Love Thinking About Schrödinger’s Cat?

“In physics, the whole point of the thought experiment is that it’s absurd. But in literature, it’s been used to explore all sorts of ideas and possibilities.”

The usual use in literature is to suggest the possibility of many worlds, the multiverse, or separate universes.

Categories: Fiction, Writing

All the Monsters in Jane Eyre

As a seminal Gothic text, which both plays up and subverts stylistic hallmarks of the genre, Charlotte Brontë‘s 1847 novel Jane Eyre is obviously associated with beasts and phantoms—and many such examples are highlighted in a chapter called “A Dialogue of Self and Soul: Plain Jane’s Progress” from perhaps the most influential work of feminist Victorian scholarship ever written, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.

Olivia Rutigliano discusses the imagery of monsters in Jane Eyre, “the story of a young woman who is angry at her oppression in a cruel, draconian world.”

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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