Literary History

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Shane’s Lot: How a 1949 Gun-Toting Loner Still Rides Through American Literature Writer Maria Hummel examines how Shane, the gunslinger introduced in Jack Schaefer’s 1949 novel Rider from Nowhere, has lived on in American popular culture. Although Shane’s worldview is dated, the novel projects the timeless quest of innocence in our bloody world. Shane altered […]

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Mychal Threets Wants Everyone to Experience ‘Library Joy’ “The 33-year-old librarian from California has become popular on TikTok and Instagram with his upbeat take on libraries.” When a librarian friend of mine recently mentioned Mychal Threets on Facebook, I had no idea who he is or why she was waxing enthusiastic about him. Now I

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Introducing the 2024 Reading Log! I’ve been keeping track of the books I’ve read since May 1, 1991, when we got our first computer. I started with a database program, but, over that many years, software has changed multiple times. Every time a program would bite the dust, I’d export my data, then import it

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Interior of a spaceship with a metallic robot looking at a hologram of a human. Text: National Science Fiction Day

It’s National Science Fiction Day!

(Image by Enrique from Pixabay) Just as residents of San Francisco warn “Don’t call it Frisco,” I have it on good authority that true science fiction fans insist “Don’t call it sci-fi.” The first science fiction I remember being enthralled by was the original Star Trek TV show (1966-1969). Later, with the advent of cable television, I discovered

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How Women Writers Speculated Fictional Futures Free From Patriarchal Control “Lisa Yaszek on the Feminist History of Science Fiction” Since I started exploring Life Stories in Literature in the last few years, I’ve read more science fiction than I had read in my entire life before. Indeed, science fiction the ability to explore other possible

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Conservative book ban push fuels library exodus from national association that stands up for books This summer, the state libraries in Montana, Missouri and Texas and the local library in Midland, Texas, announced they’re leaving the ALA, with possibly more to come. Right-wing lawmakers in at least nine other states — Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana,

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The Hours at 25: The book that changed how we see Virginia Woolf The 2002 film version of Michael Cunningham’s novel The Hours “has come to define the popular image of Virginia Woolf in the 21st Century,” writes Lillian Crawford. The Hours is “a modern reinterpretation of Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs Dalloway.” Crawford explains how

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Seven Books for the Lifelong Learner Chelsea Leu suggests seven books that “describe the experience of becoming absorbed by a skill or craft, and deliver insights into what mundane activities—say, playing sports or learning a foreign language—can tell us about how we live today. Look closely enough at any human endeavor, these books suggest, and

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Levelling up: how Gabrielle Zevin’s gaming novel became the book of the summer I was gratified to read about the popularity in the U.K. of My Most Surprising Read of 2022. Categories: Author News, Book News, Fiction Negative capability “When it comes to our complicated, undecipherable feelings, art prompts a self-understanding far beyond the wellness

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stack of books and open notebook. Label: Quotation

On Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton, American Novelist (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) Wharton’s deepest concern was morality. She wrote about the struggle between the body and the mind, that battlefield from which morality emerges. Central to her work are stifled and illicit passions, manifested in divorce, adultery, incest, and illegitimacy. She wrote about the struggle to

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