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Edith Wharton

I Loved Ben-Hur

Lev Raphael | Posted 12.20.2016 | Entertainment
Lev Raphael

I avoided it on the big screen for two reasons: I was a huge fan of the Charlton Heston version and I'd read enough reviews panning it to believe it w...

Famous Things Four Famous Authors Never Said

Lev Raphael | Posted 12.10.2016 | Books
Lev Raphael

A lot of people swear by Goodreads. I swear at it. Often. It's a treasure trove of unsourced quotations, some of them fake, just like Wikiquotes. Take...

Edith Wharton

Terence Clarke | Posted 06.26.2016 | Books
Terence Clarke

I have been a fan of Edith Wharton's work for a very long time, and I recently had the real pleasure of re-reading The Age of Innocence, The House of ...

Are Pulitzer Winners Always Worth Reading?

Lev Raphael | Posted 06.25.2016 | Books
Lev Raphael

I was at a dinner of publishing professionals recently when a book came up that I said I hadn't enjoyed. The response was: "It won the Pulitzer."

Best-Selling Author Writes Romance Novel To Prove She's Superior

Lev Raphael | Posted 09.24.2016 | Books
Lev Raphael

Novelist Curtis Sittenfeld has been getting beaten up by romance writers and readers because she's said that most romance novels are badly written. T...

Why I Quit My Book Group

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.16.2016 | Comedy
Lev Raphael

Okay, the snacks were great, and so was the wine. But the books were awful. I wanted to have fun, but everyone kept voting for books that were depressing. They called them "classics."

Reading Henry James Changed My Life

Lev Raphael | Posted 01.27.2016 | Books
Lev Raphael

I was reading The Portrait of a Lady -- which many critics consider The Great American Novel -- at 3 AM when I came to the famous Chapter 42.

Daily Meditation: All Souls Night

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 10.30.2015 | Religion

We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these Daily Meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be par...

My Funny Faux Pas in France

Lev Raphael | Posted 07.14.2016 | Travel
Lev Raphael

Princess Isabelle von und zu Liechtenstein, the wife of Pavillon Colombe's owner, strode up through the garden. She was drop-dead chic in black and grey with a colorful Chanel scarf at her throat, her hair in a chignon.

The 2 Kinds of Morning Writer

Sarah Stodola | Posted 07.06.2016 | Books
Sarah Stodola

While researching my book Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors, one of the most important habits I gauged was the time of day that successful authors get their writing done. Not surprisingly, more writers I studied do their best work in the morning than at any other time.

Mansion Backstory to Ralph Lauren NYC Men's Flagship Store

Courtney Price | Posted 06.10.2016 | New York
Courtney Price

The very first Ralph Lauren NYC flagship store is a New York destination not just for fashionistas, but historians and interior design enthusiasts as well. It's backstory lends charm and perspective to the stately address, and amplifies my respect for Ralph Lauren.

Sexist Jonathan Franzen Bashes Edith Wharton

Lev Raphael | Posted 05.24.2016 | Women
Lev Raphael

Planning to teach Wharton soon, I took another look at Franzen's New Yorker hatchet job on Edith Wharton, and it was worse than I remembered. The critics' darling praises her classics The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence but grossly misreads her character and her life.

Wheelchair Wisdom: I Am Connected to All of Life

Linda Noble Topf | Posted 05.09.2016 | Healthy Living
Linda Noble Topf

There are two ways of spreading light -- to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. -- Edith Wharton The definition of connection is knowing...

Growing Up With the Holocaust as a Writer

Lev Raphael | Posted 06.16.2015 | Religion
Lev Raphael

As a youth I thought being the son of survivors was a burden, but I gratefully came to see it as a gift because it not only gave me a mission, it was the first subject that animated my writing. It's what helped me find my voice.

The Inspiring Professor Who Changed My Life

Lev Raphael | Posted 05.08.2015 | Education
Lev Raphael

Today is International Women's Day and I have to pay tribute to the amazing woman who changed my life, setting me on the road to success as a writer.

Valentine's Day, Secret Love, and Edith Wharton

Lev Raphael | Posted 04.02.2015 | Women
Lev Raphael

Edith Wharton is not a writer you tend to think of on Valentine's day. Her marriage was unhappy and the affair she had in her forties was with a faithless cad (it was a secret until the 1970s).

The Secrets of Publishing Success

Lev Raphael | Posted 04.09.2015 | Business
Lev Raphael

When I started out, an author friend warned me that publishing was a crazy business, and he was right. Ever since my first book was published in 1990, I've been seeing news items about one scary trend or another.

Mark Twain's Ghost Won't Rest

Lev Raphael | Posted 11.27.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

Currently, he haunts the Internet. He's constantly being quoted as saying encouraging, inspiring remarks your mother or your best friend might say to you when you're feeling miserable, or things you'd want on a thought-for-the-day calendar.

Downton Abbey, Edith Wharton, and the Jews

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.28.2015 | Entertainment
Lev Raphael

The series is imbued with the preoccupations of Wharton's fiction. Just like the women in The House of Mirth, the Grantham daughters have had few choices aside from marrying a man, preferably one with money.

Giving Edith Wharton's Jew a Makeover

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.26.2015 | Religion
Lev Raphael

I suppose I could have forgotten The House of Mirth and just shrugged her off as another WASP writer stewing in her class prejudices. But I enjoyed Wharton's work too much, had written about it and even taught her fiction over the years. And The House of Mirth is just too powerful a book to ignore.

Rebuilding The House of Mirth: A Blog for Edith Wharton's Birthday

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.26.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

I understood that the authors were products of their society and a western culture that was ingrained with Jew-hatred, but it still pushed me out of the book the way a plot implausibility can make you lose faith in a movie.

4 Fake Quotes by Famous Authors to Watch Out For

Lev Raphael | Posted 04.10.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

A lot of people swear by Goodreads. I swear at it. Often. It's a font of unsourced quotations, some of them fake, just like Wikiquotes. Take the line that tops the list of George Eliot quotes: "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

Novels Do Not Need Warning Labels

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.05.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

If someone had warned me that Wharton's novel could be upsetting or painful for whatever reasons, I might have avoided it, skimmed it, or turned to Cliffs Notes. I would have missed a book that helped change my life.

What Kind of Fiction Do You Love to Read or Write? Maybe It's Time to Push the Genre Envelope

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.14.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Is my novel a mystery? Is it literary fiction? Yes, and yes. But it's still considered women's fiction in the marketplace.

The 'Bada Bing' of a Novel

Mark Rubinstein | Posted 05.31.2014 | Books
Mark Rubinstein

Popular culture references can be a shorthand way of conveying vivid images. In their own unique way, they can enrich the read, if they're not over-used. Incorporating the names of people, products, films and television shows within the story can bring immediacy to the narrative.