Fiction

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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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Dread, War and Ambivalence: Literature Since the Towers Fell The events of 9/11 irrevocably changed the course of global affairs. They also changed culture. It will likely be easier to say how a century from now. But with 20 years’ hindsight, The Times’s book critics reflect below on some of the influence of that day …

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book covers: Second Place, A Crime in the Neighborhood, Atonement, Montana 1948, This Tender Land, Ordinary Grace, God Spare the Girls

6 Degrees of Separation: Prize-Worthy Coming-of-Age Novels

This month we start with 2021 Booker Prize nominee, Second Place by Rachel Cusk. Here’s the book description from Goodreads: A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. His provocative presence provides the …

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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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Cyberpunk: Everything You Did (and Maybe Didn’t) Want to Know I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping up with the terminology used to describe some of the new kinds of literature. Here Caitlin Hobbs explains that the term cyberpunk, which has its roots in science fiction, “didn’t gain traction as a recognized …

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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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Book covers: The Bass Rock, Long Division, Three Junes, The Space Between Worlds, ho Will Run the Frog Hospital?, Coma, The Institute

6 Degrees of Separation: From The Rock to the Institute

This month we start with the winner of the 2021 Stella Prize, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld. I had hoped to finish the book before writing this post, but, you know, life intervenes. However, I’ve read enough to know that the novel presents the stories of three women in three different time periods. The …

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20 Great Works of Philosophical Fiction Rebeca Hussey here defines philosophical fiction as fiction that “encourages the reader to ponder big questions. It purposely provokes thought and debate.” Her list of philosophical fiction includes both contemporary and classic books. ‘Never stupid to ask questions’: Rare Raymond Chandler essay gives writing, office tips Here’s a reprint …

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feature: Life Stories in Literature

Announcing Life Stories in Literature

Related Articles: Introduction to Life Stories “Before I Go to Sleep,” S.J. Watson: We Are What We Remember Life Stories: The Personal Component 11 Novels That Feature Life Stories Literary Life Stories: The Character Biography “Gone Girl”: Forging a Life Story Life Stories: A Select Bibliography What Your Favorite Books Tell You About Your Writing …

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