What does it mean to have a voice, one that from the first line grabs you and remains with you long after the last one? A strong, unique voice aligned with all the elements of life? Such is the question I have been mulling over of late.
A lot of my bookworm qualities and habits stem from a childhood surrounded by and bolstered by the stacks of books my mother read. While the whole family was distinctly bookish -- we really have more books than is healthy -- my mom was book hoarder in charge.
When that eureka moment hits you though, what happens next? That huge PDF file on your computer isn't going to leap out and sell itself. You have to know how to put it out to your audience and go through the steps you need to take to get it ready for consumption.
Maybe it certifies me as an old fogey even at 33, but I actually enjoy the Dewey Decimal System, and the associated process of flipping through books with your hands to see if the title you seek is or is not in the right place. There is something therapeutic and educational about that.
As someone whose heroes are almost exclusively literary, it is hard to describe the emotions I felt discovering the love affair that occurred in the summer and fall of 1851 between Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville.
Radio Silence is full of great writers chronicling musically-induced epiphanies and musicians recounting ecstasies bred by verse and prose. Fans of both will feel giddy at this blurring of the lines between artist and audience.
It makes me sad to see the education of the heart -- the real core of any worthwhile English curriculum -- gutted for the sake of global competition, and to see teachers once again take the hit for "dummied down" education.
What's not a great literary secret is that depending, as usual, on whether you're, say, a Robert Redford (1974 version) or Leonard DiCaprio (2013 version) fan, Hollywood has never yet done justice to The Great Gatsby.
In contemporary Maine, a teenage boy's racially-charged prank prompts his New York attorney uncles to converge on the town of their youth in Elizabeth Strout's latest, The Burgess Boys, but it's the sister who never left who understands alienation best.
It's the end of March and by now you've realized that reading is for stooges and jerks. But when it comes to impressing strangers having a book with you still takes the cake. That's what people who read call a Catch 22 and people who don't read call "a curious dilemma."
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.