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Literary Fiction

Is My Vagina the Most Important Thing About My Writing?

Carrie La Seur | Posted 10.07.2014 | Books
Carrie La Seur

Recently a literary festival asked me to appear on a panel of regional 'Women Writers.' I'm early enough in my career as a novelist that I'm damned grateful to be invited anywhere, but the panel title gave me pause.

The Men in This Collection Are Far From Perfect

Melanie Bishop | Posted 09.16.2014 | Books
Melanie Bishop

Eliot Treichel knows the interior landscape of a certain American male. With this debut collection, he earns a place next to writers like Rick Bass, Mark Richard, Brady Udall and Sherman Alexie.

Betty Crocker, Carmela Soprano, and the Likeability Factor in Fiction

Randy Susan Meyers | Posted 09.04.2014 | Books
Randy Susan Meyers

My job here was done. Making characters as nuanced on the page as we are in real life is one of my priorities. Plus, readers bring their own experiences to fictional characters, to our stories, and to however authors' belief systems color our work.

Self-Publishing Literary Fiction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Cari Noga Reveals All to the Book Doctors

David Henry Sterry | Posted 10.20.2014 | Books
David Henry Sterry

The Book Doctors met Cari Noga in 2011, when she won our National Novel Writing Month Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for books). Her pitch was spectacular, haunting and superbly crafted.

Beautiful Dystopia: A New Novel Reveals the Light Amid Russia's Darkness

Andrew D. Kaufman | Posted 10.12.2014 | Books
Andrew D. Kaufman

Every character in this book is a dreamer of one sort or another.

Bernardine Evaristo, Literary Rebel With a Cause

Diriye Osman | Posted 09.21.2014 | Books
Diriye Osman

British-Nigerian novelist and poet, Bernardine Evaristo is not only a master of literary gender-bending but she's also adroit at subverting well-worn tropes from slavery to stifled sexuality in a way that feels new, visceral, vital.

How Far Would You Go for Your Passion?

Lisa Barr | Posted 09.17.2014 | Arts
Lisa Barr

Rejection is the deepest of all artistic suffering because it is not just what we do -- it is who we are. And when we are celebrated for our work, there is nothing that comes closer to validating our soul.

Writing That Imagines What It's Like to Be: A Review of Kola Boof's Selected Works

Loren Kleinman | Posted 08.24.2014 | Books
Loren Kleinman

Let's just spell it out right at the start: Kola Boof is one of the great migrant writers of our time.

Top 10 Father Figures in Literature: Great Reads for Father's Day

Allison Pataki | Posted 08.12.2014 | Books
Allison Pataki

This weekend we will celebrate our fathers and the important men in our lives. In their honor I've come up with my list of top ten great reads about great father figures in literature.

YA and the Shame Game

Elizabeth Vail | Posted 08.08.2014 | Books
Elizabeth Vail

Pleasure begets pleasure. The unfettered enjoyment of YA fiction now experienced by both adults and teenagers -- age groups that used to be at odds -- has led to increased exchanges of ideas and recommendations, the revitalization of the Internet reading community.

How to Fulfill Your Destiny

Rea Nolan Martin | Posted 08.02.2014 | Healthy Living
Rea Nolan Martin

But each of us is given a unique thread, a point-of-view, a message to contribute to the story of humankind. Somewhere deep down, we know what it is, but we sell out for one reason or another.

Some Thoughts on MFA vs. NYC and Planting My Flag with the Huns

Andrew Lewis Conn | Posted 07.29.2014 | Books
Andrew Lewis Conn

That's what writing a novel is like. No matter the precautions and preparation, dangers abound. The game is rigged; the odds of success and survival are not good. MFA vs. NYC? Yeah, sure, exactly. Whatever it takes, however you get there, and everything in between.

Does Literary Fiction Challenge Racial Stereotypes?

Jalees Rehman, M.D. | Posted 07.06.2014 | Books
Jalees Rehman, M.D.

Reading literary fiction can be highly pleasurable, but does it also make you a better person? Conventional wisdom and intuition lead us to believe that reading can indeed improve us. However, we may overestimate the capacity of literary fiction to foster moral improvement

Infinite Reflections: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Ilana Teitelbaum | Posted 05.10.2014 | Books
Ilana Teitelbaum

Boy, Snow, Bird is her exploration of the Snow White fairy tale, interlaced with an assortment of other myths, and culminating as a commentary on the tragic history of race in America.

Literary Fiction vs. Genre Fiction

Steven Petite | Posted 04.28.2014 | Books
Steven Petite

In reality, neither of the two categories of writers necessarily deserve the distinction of being better writers. Different writers is a better word choice.

Jennifer Weiner Is a Genius at Self-Promotion

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.08.2014 | Books
Lev Raphael

How many authors of commercial fiction do you know who get huge, glowing profiles in the New Yorker? Well, Jennifer Weiner just did, as she continues to ride her successful hobbyhorse about not getting respect.

Why Agents Reject 96% of Author Submissions

Heather Hummel | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Heather Hummel

The reason for rejections typically comes down to a few key issues. Follow these solutions, and my bet is doors will start opening.

J.J. Abrams on the Creative Process That Went Into His New Novel S.

Tavis Smiley | Posted 12.30.2013 | Books
Tavis Smiley

Tonight on PBS, I sit down with award-winning producer J.J. Abrams. He's co-created iconic television programs such as Lost. Tonight he talks about working on his recently released interactive novel titled S. and his newest show Almost Human.

On Teaching the Work of Alice Munro

Daniel Pena | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Daniel Pena

Alice Munro's writing, like all great writing, teaches us to be human. It engages big questions in small spaces: What does it mean to be regional? What does it mean to be Canadian? What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be betrayed?

Literary And Mainstream Novels: What's The Difference?

| Posted 08.21.2013 | Books

From Writer's Relief staff: The guidelines for literary and mainstream fiction often differ from those of popular fiction such as romance novels, ...

Lalo Is the Word, Puerto Rico His Nation

Monica Gutierrez | Posted 08.13.2013 | Arts
Monica Gutierrez

Eduardo Lalo's selection as this year's recipient of the prestigious Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize is an event of transcendental signific...

Do We Know 'Chick Lit' When We See It?

Claire Fallon | Posted 10.08.2013 | Books
Claire Fallon

What makes a book chick lit as opposed to literary fiction? This question is, in reality, not difficult to answer -- at least for any thoughtful reader who enjoys a variety of fiction -- but it continues to surface.

Building a Better Book Club

Evan Gottlieb | Posted 08.19.2013 | Books
Evan Gottlieb

If you can't get people in a book club to talk about literature in a sustained and involved way, where can you hope for a good literary discussion outside a classroom?

For Afghanistan With Love: An Interview With Khaled Hosseini

Ilana Teitelbaum | Posted 07.28.2013 | Books
Ilana Teitelbaum

Emotional intensity and hardship are hallmarks of Khaled Hosseini's novels of Afghanistan, and his third novel, And the Mountains Echoed is no exception.

Who's Afraid of a Little Literary Theory?

Evan Gottlieb | Posted 07.01.2013 | Books
Evan Gottlieb

I study, teach, and write about things that non-English professors also encounter every day: words and images. Yet when English profs teach these materials in the classroom, and especially when we write about them in academic journals or scholarly books, we sound different.