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Novels

An Appreciation of Barbara Kingsolver

Dave Astor | Posted 01.02.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

Why do I like Kingsolver's work? She's progressive, feminist, and her fiction puts things in a sociopolitical context. But I think many open-minded people of any ideology would find her work engaging.

How to Write a Novel in a Month (The Easy Way!)

Maria Rodale | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Maria Rodale

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, author of smart and sassy romance novels November is National Novel Writing Month and in honor of that, I thought I'...

A Wealth of Wealthy Characters in Literature

Dave Astor | Posted 12.26.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

Like Mitt and the president, wealthy fictional protagonists vary in that some are "to the manor born" while others become affluent from their own hard work. Literature's rich characters also vary in their likability -- ranging from appalling to appealing.

Six Characters in Search of a Stenographer: Where Writers Get Their Ideas

Steven Paul Leiva | Posted 12.23.2012 | Books
Steven Paul Leiva

Good writers do not channel in from some higher plain, they are simply human creatures who have a talent for expression and a talent, as Noel Coward would have said, to amuse. Everything they write is an expression of their selfs.

Interview With Jami Attenberg, Author of The Middlesteins

Teddy Wayne | Posted 12.22.2012 | Books
Teddy Wayne

Jami Attenberg is publishing what is poised to be her breakout novel, The Middlesteins, a multigenerational saga about the titular family and their oft-contentious relationship with food.

Cold War Heats Up Herald Square by Jefferson Flanders

Michael Conniff | Posted 12.22.2012 | Books
Michael Conniff

Nostalgia is a dish best served warm, but it doesn't hurt one bit if the source of the heat is a mystery that brings to mind gorgeous spies and odious moles who watched the first light of peacetime bleed into the twilight of the Cold War.

Biographies: The Novels of Nonfiction?

Dave Astor | Posted 12.11.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

Plot? Before reading a biography, we often don't know all the specifics of how the subject's life proceeded (except, perhaps, that she or he eventually died). So a biography can be as revelatory as a plot-driven novel.

The Art of the Fake in Fiction and Non-Fiction

Alan Elsner | Posted 12.05.2012 | Books
Alan Elsner

A couple of recent books illustrate our fascination with the arcane world of art forgery. Perhaps, in this Internet age, when so little seems to be truly original, the subject of how to produce a master forgery that will fool all the experts seems particularly relevant.

When a Woman's Word Is Gold: How Women Are Redefining the Publishing World

Daleen Berry | Posted 12.01.2012 | Books
Daleen Berry

For women -- who historically have been forced to live in a man's world -- the new publishing models are all about control. Now that's all changed.

'The Casual Vacancy' Is Not the Only Novel That Includes Politicians!

Dave Astor | Posted 09.27.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

With the often-ridiculous U.S. presidential race in full swing, there's at least a 47 percent chance you'd like to forget about politicians for a few hours by immersing yourself in a novel. But be careful which novel you choose, because some of them feature ... politicians!

Thwarted Romances Are a Literary Staple

Dave Astor | Posted 11.20.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

Among literature's most popular plot devices are the obstructions authors put on the road of love. It's hard not to get engrossed when two characters are thwarted from finding happiness with each other.

One Novelist's Nightmare - Please Don't Forward to Your Friends

Linda Howard Urbach | Posted 11.17.2012 | Books
Linda Howard Urbach

This was my dream last night: I am riding my bicycle in New York City and I call my old agent and say: "My book is finished." In truth, in the dream, I've only written the first and last chapter but I want to get him "on board" early.

Authors Amid the Rock Bands on YouTube

Dave Astor | Posted 11.07.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

Some people (like me!) are so busy reading books that they don't bother much with moving-image media such as films and TV. But what about watching YouTube videos relating to ... authors!

Mallika Rao

Zadie Smith's Welcome Return

HuffingtonPost.com | Mallika Rao | Posted 02.11.2015 | Books

Zadie Smith has always been a gifted impressionist, sometimes to her detriment. In her debut novel White Teeth, the breadth of accents and dialect...

An Appreciation of John Steinbeck

Dave Astor | Posted 10.24.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

With Labor Day approaching, a reader's thoughts might turn to an author with an immense sympathy for the working class. That author is John Steinbeck, and this post is an appreciation of his work.

How Much Truth Is In Fiction?

Leslie Daniels | Posted 10.16.2012 | Books
Leslie Daniels

Last week, here and in the Times Literary Supplement, was announced the discovery of a story by Vladimir Nabokov on boxing.

Food for (Literary) Thought on Julia Child's Birthday

Dave Astor | Posted 10.15.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

With Aug. 15 being the 100th anniversary of Julia Child's birth, I figured a post about food in novels might be appropriate.

The Appeal of Fiction Juxtaposition

Dave Astor | Posted 10.09.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

Most of us have a certain routine, so it's exciting to pick up a book and end up in another time, place, and situation. To make this experience even more intense, I often try to follow a novel I just read with one that's very different.

Seduced Again. How Scrivener Stole My Heart and Left My Novel in the Lurch

Linda Howard Urbach | Posted 10.08.2012 | Books
Linda Howard Urbach

It made sense that I would turn to software in my time of need. I was going through a very rocky time with my novel. I had fallen out of love with it. (I even hated the chapter titles.) I was lonely, desperate and needy.

Author! Author! (As Writer and Character)

Dave Astor | Posted 10.03.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

Authors often write what they know, so it's no surprise that many fictional characters are authors themselves.

Hey Writer! What's Your Brand?

Holly Robinson | Posted 09.30.2012 | Books
Holly Robinson

When did writers start being brands? This question led me through a maze of other squirrely musings. If you write a memoir, are you forever a memoirist? What happens if a thriller writer dares to try his hand at romance?

Book Titles That May Not Be Ideal

Dave Astor | Posted 09.25.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

If you can't judge a book by its cover, can you judge a book by its title? I ask that because there are some novels with a title character who is not the most prominent or interesting person in the book.

In Praise of Professor Protagonists

Dave Astor | Posted 09.18.2012 | Books
Dave Astor

I like novels starring professors because they bring back memories of the ones I had in college.

Are the Rules of Engagement for Serious Novels Changing?

Warren Adler | Posted 09.17.2012 | Books
Warren Adler

The one great hope for future generations of writers and readers of serious novels is the success of a category that is showing remarkable buoyancy, the young adult novel.

Want to Know How Cassandra Clare's Widely Anticipated Clockwork Princess Begins?

William Henderson | Posted 09.16.2012 | Books
William Henderson

Two hours and about 30,000 tweets later, the full cover was revealed, #ClockworkPrincess was a worldwide Twitter trending topic, and fans of the series were already critiquing what the cover does -- and doesn't -- show.