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What I Learned About Writing From Reviewing

Bethanne Patrick writes, “I believe in both author and reader as partners in a delicate dance. The author wants to speak; the reader wants to listen. I’ve occupied both roles.” 

Having been both a critic and a writer, Patrick here offers some advice for writers.

Categories: Literary Criticism, Reading, Review, Writing

Can I Be Friends With People Who Don’t Read Books?

“Of course, but reading can make a good relationship better.”

Book lovers also love memes, and you’ve probably come across the one that asks “Can you be friends with someone who doesn’t read?”

Here, Patricia Prijatel, E.T. Meredith Distinguished Professor Emerita at Drake University, considers and comes up with this answer: “The deep conversations I have, those that go beneath the surface to real meaning and understanding, those are the conversations I have with book readers.”

Category: Reading

The Tortured Bond of Alice Sebold and the Man Wrongfully Convicted of Her Rape

With great sensitivity, Rachel Aviv, a staff writer for The New Yorker, discusses the current reality for both writer Alice Sebold and Anthony Broadwater, the man who spent 16 years in prison and 22 additional years as a registered sex offender after being wrongly convicted for raping Sebold when she was a freshman at Syracuse University.

Category: Author News

The Fight for the Soul of a School Board

I’ve been trying to lay off the book banning and censorship news, but the escalating controversies have set off lots of questioning that Americans need to think about. Here’s an example from The New Yorker:

In a small Missouri town, a campaign to remove literature from the high-school library forced members of the community to reckon with the meaning of “parents’ rights.”

Category: Censorship

Central York High Schoolers Protest Book Bans (Again). Here’s What They Have to Say

Most censorship efforts are led by parents. This article focuses on how students at one high school are “becoming leaders in the charge against book bans, beginning a protest against the removal of books from the school.”

Category: Censorship

CT school board deadlocks on whether to limit access to two books

Here’s a report on how one local school board (from my native state of Connecticut) is handling the question of whether to limit students’ access to two books.

Category: Censorship

Objection to sexual, LGBTQ content propels spike in book challenges

“An analysis of book challenges from across the nation shows the majority were filed by just 11 people”

The Washington Post reports on an analysis of “book challenges filed in the 2021-2022 school year” performed by “a researcher employed by free expression advocacy group PEN America.”

Category: Censorship

What Is Narrative Nonfiction?

Narrative nonfiction infuses true-life accounts with the storytelling techniques of your favorite fictional narratives. . . . But what is narrative nonfiction, and how is it different from other literary genres? Buckle up as we journey into the history and controversies of narrative nonfiction, where we’ll discover some captivating reads that are anything but dull.

Since fiction is my first literary love, I don’t write enough about nonfiction. So here’s some information from Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers.

Category: Nonfiction

“Smoking Ruins Were All Around Me.” On Experiencing Psychosis For the First Time

And here’s an excerpt from a work of narrative nonfiction, The World at My Back by Thomas Melle, translated by Luise von Flotow. Melle describes his first experience of psychosis:

The whole world was gone. Everything was being dragged away. No earthquake could have done more damage. It’s just that this earthquake was different: it was taking place inside me, and the destruction, all-encompassing as it was, was silent. Nothing stayed the way it was, and yet from the outside everything seemed the same. Language no longer had an anchor but people continued to talk, quite normally, though they were strange, completely distant.

Category: Literature & Psychology

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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