In honor of women's history month and to celebrate the paperback publication of The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., I arranged an interview with Eugénie R. herself (heretofore known only as my fictional character) to find out how this 19th century woman feels about our 21st century world.
The books that change our lives. It sounds like the dramatic segue into the credits of a soap opera, but it's kind of true right? There are those books that change the way you see the world, a person or yourself that stay with you forever.
The current dispute between the book retailer Barnes & Noble and the publisher Simon & Schuster has caused much handwringing and worry. But the dispute is one that has visited all changing industries fighting a rear-guard action against newer, more visionary competition.
The Common Core is a reminder of the credo literature professors live by. Language is the building block of great sentences, great paragraphs, great chapters, and great books. We cannot take it for granted.
The Deliverance of Others offers political and aesthetic reflections on the global age and interrogates received conceptions of rationality, the family, the body, and human capacities for emotional connection.
Here's an excerpt from Episode 157, my conversation with Ayana Mathis, author of the bestselling novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. It was hand-selected by Oprah Winfrey as an official pick of Oprah's Book Club 2.0.
I'm not suggesting every Jewish person read a novel published by a Christian publisher, but I am thinking if you see or hear of a book of any kind that is a little outside your ordinary, try it. You might find it's something very familiar.
This may sound a little absolutist, but at the end of the day, who is really controlling what you post online? Is that ironic music video your status because you actually enjoy it, or is it online because you want people to see how funny you are?
Readers -- many of whom have been "fish out of water" themselves during vacations or after moving to new towns (or countries) -- can compare their own real-life experiences with the fictional ones depicted by authors.
One big reason why people read fiction is to feel strong emotions -- joy, surprise, anger, etc. And when it comes to anger, few literary experiences make our blood boil more than observing the actions of hypocritical protagonists.
You know that dreaded nine-letter word describing certain novels. The word that makes literature students run screaming from classrooms and older readers tremble even when dressed warmly. Yes, the word is (gasp) "difficult"!
As a writer, I've always turned to the written word to piece together the ways of the world, and to better understand myself and others. I knew that in this matter, it would be no different -- I would write a book that got to the heart of a decision that polarizes so many of us.
As bookshelves (and e-readers) continue to groan with knock-offs of Seth Grahame-Smith's knock-off, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it seems worth asking: are zombies and ninjas the only way to make the novels of previous centuries relevant again?