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American Literature

Is Cold Calculus Behind One of Mitt's "Favorite" Poems?

John Lundberg | Posted 11.02.2012 | Politics
John Lundberg

It's a powerful piece of poetry -- a clarion call for the strong men of 1890s America (sorry, women -- you weren't included) to build a strong nation, and a fitting choice to inspire today's Americans to fight their way out of a recession. But Romney 's little literary story isn't as pure as it seems.

10 Books Every American NEEDS To Read

Posted 06.08.2012 | Books

The following is an excerpt from Stuff Every American Should Know[Quirk Books, $9.95] by Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan. Most of us read fo...

Can The Great American Novel Exist?

Kevin Hayes | Posted 05.15.2012 | Books
Kevin Hayes

Can the phrase "Great American Novel" only be applied to realistic novels that attempt to capture the mainstream American experience? Or can it be applied to other novels that are more diverse in terms of either subject matter or literary approach?

Lucas Kavner

'Moby Dick' Gets A Makeover. On Every Single Page. | Lucas Kavner | Posted 09.11.2011 | Home

While other high school freshmen were playing video games or going to baseball practice, Matt Kish was reading the unabridged edition of "Moby Dick" i...

How Comics Became Literature for Adults

Douglas Wolk | Posted 08.27.2011 | Books
Douglas Wolk

Thanks to accidents of economics, flashes of artistic inspiration, and flukes of both government and culture, comics have really "grown up."

What Work Could Gilded Age Women Do?

Lev Raphael | Posted 08.14.2011 | Women
Lev Raphael

Remember Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth? Remember how faded socialite Lily Bart drops down the social ladder, from unpaid secretary for her wealt...

Rebuilding Edith Wharton's House of Mirth

Lev Raphael | Posted 08.02.2011 | Books
Lev Raphael

Certain books change your life, and Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth changed mine. The novel's brilliance blew me away in college, deepening my desi...

On In(form)ality: Creative Writing Pedagogy in the Youtube Generation

Ming Holden | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Ming Holden

One thing that renders me reluctant to begin writing about the "business" of writing and the teaching of writing is the sneaking suspicion that there are things I lack that "real writers" should have in order to teach.

Biography: The Falsest Art?

Joe Woodward | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Joe Woodward

I've come to believe that what makes the biography of a writer crackle and pop is knowing as many lies as truths -- the lies they told to others, the lies others told of them, and, most importantly, the lies they told themselves.

No Time?

The Guardian | John Crace | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

Lolita. Light of my life. Lo. Li. Ta Very Much. If you wonder where my peculiar interests came from, I should have to say it started when I was 13 wit...

Big Woman, Small Town: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Ilana Teitelbaum | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Ilana Teitelbaum

In her inability to feel content with her life, with the "blackness" that accompanies her through her household tasks and is often expressed through anger and even cruelty, Olive seems, in a way, to be too big for the town that has always been her home.

William Faulkner Talks Online, 50 Years Later

NPR | Morning Edition | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

In the late 1950s, English students at the University of Virginia got the opportunity that most American literature scholars would kill for -- to spea...

Anticipating Mark Twain's Never Before Seen Autobiography

Steve Courtney | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Steve Courtney

We're finally getting to read Mark Twain's blog. It's a chance to hear the old man's voice as he talks to us directly, at his own pace, telling us things in the order he wants to tell us things.

Why Memoir?

Peter Birkenhead | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Peter Birkenhead

A lot of us are taught about fear, in one way or another, by mountains or drugs or fathers, but it's the fear, not the father, we ultimately battle with.

Rejecting the Publishing Ghetto

Leonce Gaiter | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Leonce Gaiter

Today, there is a publishing ghetto. Mainstream white-owned houses have black imprints. Here, they publish books by, for and about black people.

Age, Writing and Workshops

Marcia DeSanctis | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Marcia DeSanctis

Any idea that I was still a young woman was temporarily dispelled the first few days of the annual Tin House Writers Conference at Reed College in Portland Oregon.

Define "Urban Lit" ...

Charles D. Ellison | Posted 05.25.2011 | Style
Charles D. Ellison

Rage against the Mullah machine fumes in Iran, economy is wrecked, and health care reform is a rubbery roast of ripped tire on the road to political h...

Tell The Truth: You're a Real Storyteller

Richard Laermer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Richard Laermer

The success of Angela's Ashes taught us that the most popular stories that seem to resonate with readers and spur new and positive changes are often the true ones.

Holden Caulfield at 60? No Way, Says J. D. Salinger

David Finkle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
David Finkle

Salinger might be better off taking the view of James M. Cain, the author of several hot 1940s chart items. Cain, asked once how he felt about what Hollywood had done to his books, said, "Hollywood hasn't done anything to my books. There they all are, up on the shelf."

Over a Cheever, Under a Cheever

David Finkle | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
David Finkle

I cried when I found out that John Cheever died in 1982. And now with few readers, the paradise that is Cheever's writing is at risk of being a lost paradise.

Serena: This Fall's Most Dangerous Novel

Jeff Biggers | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Jeff Biggers

As unforgettable as a haunting mountain ballad, Serena unfolds like a brilliantly conceived cautionary tale and mediation on the dark corners of unbridled lust to profit at any cost.

Nobel Prize - Is There an American Eligible?

Rick Ayers | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Rick Ayers

The comments of the Swedish Academy secretary suggesting that an American is unlikely to win the Nobel Prize in Literature this week have provoked great patriotic upswellings.