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How Literature Depicts the Chinese Cultural Revolution Here’s an engaging article that illustrates one of the major themes of Life Stories in Literature: how dominant—and dominating—societies control the historical narrative and attempt to erase the voices of individuals and marginalized groups. Dee Das writes: When we talk about the Chinese Cultural Revolution, we mostly zoom …

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Home and Away: Horror & Gothic Fiction 2022 Among this season’s horror releases, twinned themes emerge. On one side, the oppressive atmosphere of a childhood home and the secrets it holds; on the other, the ambiguity of liminal spaces and the unease of isolation. PW spoke with editors about the fear of the unknown, whether …

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An In-Depth Guide to Book Sizes Every once in a while I come across a book that isn’t a standard size. That difference may not seem important, but it can make shelving the book difficult if you want to put it in with, say, other books by the same author. Category: Publishing People Are Sharing …

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Making Story Structure Your Own I’ve recently been working on reviews of two Big Books: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (530 pages) To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara (704 pages) Big Books contain so much that finding a way into discussing them is often a challenge. For both of these novels I’ve …

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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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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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What to read in 2020 based on the books you loved in 2019 If you liked any of the 12 books listed here, Angela Haupt has suggestions about what you might like to read this year. The 12 books from 2019 that she references are: “City of Girls,” by Elizabeth Gilbert “All This Could Be …

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Why we need to stop forcing ourselves to finish books we hate When I was younger, I felt that I had to finish every book I started. But some time around my 40th birthday I realized that I had probably completed about half my life and no longer had the luxury of time to waste …

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Quotation: Elena Ferrante: Storytelling as Power

There is one form of power that has fascinated me ever since I was a girl, even though it has been widely colonized by men: the power of storytelling. Telling stories really is a kind of power, and not an insignificant one. Stories give shape to experience, sometimes by accommodating traditional literary forms, sometimes by …

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Show Us Your Tsundoku! Loosely translated as the practice of piling up books you might never read, the Japanese word tsundoku seems to be everywhere right now. In recent months, The New York Times, the BBC, Forbes, and plenty of others have reported on the phenomenon. Here’s the feature’s subtitle: “We want to see your …

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