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An Innocent Abroad: Joan Didion’s Midlife Crisis Novelist, short story writer, critic and retired English professor Scott Bradfield grew up in California but had difficulty “[l]earning how to write fictions set in California”: California is filled with so many vivid pleasures, smells, textures, and absurdities of human character that it feels difficult, or even impossible, …

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Clue Attitude: Agatha Christie in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture

Hey mystery lovers, check out all these great mentions of the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, in contemporary literature and pop culture! Source: Clue Attitude: Agatha Christie in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture   Oh dear, I missed Agatha Christie’s birthday, which was yesterday (September 15). So here, with my apologies for being late, is …

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The Man Behind the Myth: Should We Question the Hero’s Journey? Sarah E. Bond and Joel Christensen dispute Joseph Campbell’s well-known theory “which proposed the existence of a singular ‘hero’s journey’ (also known as the Monomyth), as experienced by ancient heroes such as Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey.” How Extortion Scams and Review Bombing Trolls Turned …

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On the Books: How to Keep Track of New Releases I have a list of every book that I’ve read since July 1991. I started keeping it on my very first computer, an IBM PCjr. Over the years I’ve managed to maintain the list through several computer and computer program changes, including the biggest computer …

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Authors say Texas state museum canceled book event examining slavery’s role in Battle of the Alamo This HAS to be the week’s lead story. A promotional event for a book examining the role slavery played leading up to the Battle of the Alamo that was scheduled at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on Thursday …

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THE GREAT RIGHT-WING PUBLISHING DIVIDE WIDENS If you’re still keeping up with the publishing hubbub, here’s another story on the formation of a new publishing company being started by a couple of conservative industry executives, “Louise Burke, a former top publisher at Simon & Schuster, and Kate Hartson, the former editorial director at Hachette Book …

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The 2021 Pride Reading List: 75 New Books to Read Now I’m leading with this list because June is Pride month “in honor of the LGBTQ+ community.” Greenwood author’s first-person history of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre published 100 years later The 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre rightly generated a lot of press coverage. …

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Three New Books Find Drama in the Scandals and Controversies of the Publishing World These stories about concerns over the publishing industry aren’t going away any time soon—nor should they: “the business of books has increasingly become a hothouse, generating controversies, Twitter feuds and scrambles to save face as existing power structures are challenged.” Here …

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Behind The New York Times’ Blake Bailey Bombshell And the fallout continues over the allegations against Blake Bailey, author of the biography of Philip Roth that was canceled this week by publisher W.W. Norton. A publishing executive’s rape allegation against the Philip Roth biographer sent shockwaves through the industry—and put the Times’ handling of it …

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How Crime Writers Can Reimagine Public Safety Without Police “The next wave of crime fiction could help shape the public imagination of what a world where police weren’t in charge of public safety could look like.” Historically, crime fiction has portrayed the police as heroes. But that vision of law enforcement is becoming hazier for …

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