We are going through a period where such books are getting lost in the crowded corridors of our commercial enterprises. Despite this, such books will continue to be written by those who must tell these stories, and read by those who hunger to read them.
Literature is irreplaceable; it enables teachers to develop skills that other types of writing don't. And since it's on the hot seat, it's time those of us who love teaching literature got clearer about exactly why we do.
Much larger is the group of authors whose next-best books are nearly as stellar as their top ones. At the risk of sounding obvious, I think there are more authors with several great works in them than there are authors who write only one novel for the ages.
Censorship in China is widely known and lamented. Chinese literature has a long history of what Emily Dickinson's poem alluded to: Tell all the Truth but tell it slant. It's possible that Mo Yan chooses "not to speak" about the political situation directly, but to tell it slant.
With increasing interest in the historical connections between the United States and the Arab world as a result of the politics of our time, there seemingly is a new push to expand knowledge about Gibran and possibly ground him in an American setting.
I always saw all the therapies and special support not as a race to fix or cure him, not as tools in an arsenal as if I was fighting a battle against autism, but rather, "I want to get to know my son better, I want to understand him so I can love him better and be a better mother to him."
One time I got a package containing a tattered copy of my book along with a handwritten note. To a writer, this is like going up to a stranger and telling them that a) they could use some plastic surgery, and b) you'd like to perform it yourself.
Sedaris had everyone in the entire theatre shaking in their seats and rapidly dying of uncontrollable laughter. I could see it then, a headline reading "American Humor Writer Kills Palm Desert Retirees."
What's key about communicating is the formation of meaning. And that doesn't happen on the page. It happens in the mind of the reader. That's who you have to care about, and that's where you do your work as a writer.
In his cell phone movie, Mark Amerika uses extensive subtitles to pay homage to the art-house films that inspired him and act to create a liminal space wherein the imaginative operations of the viewer's mind are revealed and encouraged.
We had arrived in America with nothing but rags in our backpacks and a few ounces of gold that my mother had tucked into her money belt. An impoverished aunt took us all in. Soon there were 10 people crowding together in Auntie Lisa's tiny two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco.
Words truly have the power to soothe our souls and comfort our spirits, to offer us a glimpse of other worlds, and to shine light on our own hopes and dreams. The more I read, the more I know, but more importantly, the more I get to know myself.
As a refugee from Vietnam, a country colonized by the French and then fought over by the Americans and the Soviet Union, I see the Obama presidency as spelling the end of a 500-year-old colonial curse.
I'm not sure why I love reviews so much and find the reading of criticism so difficult. Maybe it's because reviews are more fun. But it's been helpful to think of criticism not as the enemy of creativity, but as its complement.