What is most compelling about Alice Munro's stories is the sense we have of peering into the darkest recesses of people's hearts, eavesdropping, learning their tortured secrets. In an age of reality TV this may seem passé.
Set in the same universe as that of her novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke's "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" stands on its own as a series of glittering dark tales that draw on the legends of northern Europe.
Even if you don't give a fig about literary games involving complex mathematics, reading through these arguments, experiments, successes and colossal failures will remind you that a vibrant literary culture exits in America.
Natalie Merchant quietly walked onto the stage of the sold-out house at the L'Alhambra in Paris wearing a simple black shift and jacket, hair loosely across her shoulders, and face plain without a facade of make-up.
When I told people I was training to become a therapist the reaction typically was, "That will help you so much as a writer." Actually, it turned out to be the opposite: being a writer helped me as a therapist.
I'm hoping to shed some light on a few books that are intriguing due to author, subject matter, publication details, or something that seems a little different, interesting, possibly out of the ordinary.
There's a particular moment that is one of the emotional highlights of the entire series. I looked up the passage to re-read it, and I realized that - surprise! - it has tremendous relevance to a happiness project.
Looking around the room, listening to inmates' comments, feeling their passion, it was impossible not to be impressed by the wasted potential in that room. Yet U.S. prisons generally do a poor job of rehabilitation.