Life Stories in Literature

Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Plotter, Pantser, Scribbler, Scribe Can we get rid of the “plotter vs. pantser” binary already? In light of last month’s quotations around NaNoWriMo, this piece seems like the logical introduction for the weekly links list. What If We’ve Been Misunderstanding Monsters? A history of how literary monsters have changed over the centuries. “Post-Enlightenment, literary monsters …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

What I Learned About My Writing By Seeing Only The Punctuation I’ve saved this piece until after NaNoWriMo so as not to distract you from the all-important task of writing. But once you’ve completed that draft of your novel, take a look at this article (which I find fascinating) and see if it can help …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Indie Bookseller Panel Tackles Free Expression News items like this are becoming distressingly frequent. Publishers Weekly reports on a virtual discussion by regional independent bookselling associations. Powell’s Books Survived Amazon. Can It Reinvent Itself After the Pandemic? “As much as any city, Portland, Ore., has been through hell. Its landmark store, Powell’s Books, must finally …

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7 book covers: What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez, How It All Began by Penelope Lively, We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker, The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, The Last Flight by Julie Clark, A Little Hope by Ethan Joella

6 Degrees of Separation: “Messy, messy lives”

This month we begin with Sigrid Nunez’s What Are You Going Through. Here’s the description from Goodreads: A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life: an ex she runs into by chance at a public forum, an Airbnb owner unsure how to interact with …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The Book Review Turns 125 The New York Times is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its Book Review with a selection from its archives. Here you’ll find links to reviews of past books including The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, Roots by Alex Haley, and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, as well as …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The great book shortage of 2021, explained Those exhortations you’ve heard about ordering holiday gifts early include books. My daughter reminded me just a couple of days ago to get my book requests to her soon. In defence of memoirs – a way to grip our story-shaped lives After studying life stories and their nonfiction …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

All Our Possible Lives: On Sylvia Plath, Matt Haig, and the Female Suicide Narrative “Savannah Marciezyk Compares Textual Interpretations of The Midnight Library and The Bell Jar” Sylvia Plath and Matt Haig have much in common, but the differences between their receptions and textual interpretations are remarkable. Plath’s novel is famously (and controversially) autobiographical. Haig …

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book covers: The Lottery, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Haunting of Hill House, Mrs. March, The Yellow Wallpaper, Deep Water, The Butcher Boy

6 Degrees of Separation: Deranged Minds

This month we start with “a (frightening) short story,” “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. This is probably the story Jackson is best known for. It appeared in The New Yorker in 1948. What I love about Shirley Jackson’s work is the way she gradually makes the reader realize that things are not always what they …

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stack of books and open notebook. Label: Quotation

Quotation: “Life Matters”

“But reading is actually the opposite of escape. No story can live without the reader’s emotional participation. The writer’s words are but directions to a place within the reader where sadness and joy and grief and curiosity and boredom and hope and despair reside. The words alone are a skeleton; the reader’s felt responses to …

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Painted wall mural featuring portraits of People of Color

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Books!

Each year the U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The holiday was started by President Lyndon Johnson as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The observation begins on September 15 because that date is the anniversary of independence …

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