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Literature

Literature for a Better World

Emily Atkinson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Emily Atkinson

Empathy -- our ability to feel for others -- is what allows us to care for each other, to form communities and friendships, to imagine each other's feelings, to commiserate over each other's pain and share in each other's joy.

Ten 'Modern' Words With Literary Origins

Oliver Tearle | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Oliver Tearle

If you think 'totes', 'fangirl', and 'trick out' are recent idioms, then I'm here to surprise you.

Déjà Vu Can Happen to You

Dave Astor | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Dave Astor

Ever read something in a novel and feel you've read something similar in a novel by a different author? I'm not talking about plagiarism, but a variation on a scene or theme.

Marina Plans 24-Hour Reading of German Fantasy Novel

ARTINFO | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
ARTINFO

For 24 consecutive hours, from 2pm on November 23 until 2pm on November 24, the Marina Abramovic Institute and Basilica Hudson will hold a marathon re...

Photographer Harun Mehmedinovic Seeks the Sublime With Bloodhoney* Book Project

Michael Juliani | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Michael Juliani

After some success with his short film, In the Name of the Son, Harun kept crisscrossing the country, traveling ceaselessly as he'd done since landing in the United States, taking pictures of landscapes and skies.

Surprised by C. S. Lewis Fifty Years After His Death

Michael Gilmour | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

It was the relatively late work Surprised by Joy (1955) that got me hooked. Here Lewis tells the story of how the atheist became a theist and eventually a Christian.

Another-Chance-at-Love Literature

Dave Astor | Posted 12.25.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

I'm partial to novels featuring characters getting another chance at love. Those protagonists may or may not do better in their next relationship, but at least the "happily ever after" potential can put a smile on a reader's face.

Paulo Coelho Always Stays True to Himself -- a Rare Ideal

Henry Freeman | Posted 12.16.2013 | Books
Henry Freeman

His huge following on social media makes him one of the most influential authors of the present. And he's not shy to speak up and make his point clear. Now, when he saw the list of authors representing Brazil at the Frankfurt Book fair, with him leading the group, Coelho said "no." Consequences? Don't matter!

The Violent Life of a Crime-thriller Writer

Mark Rubinstein | Posted 12.14.2013 | Books
Mark Rubinstein

The potential for violence lives within all of us, and I'm no exception. Violence in my novels is contrived--it's pure fiction--but reflects a core truth about human nature. It's never meant to be gratuitous, but rather serves the story.

Fact or Fiction? 9 Unusual Author Deaths

Oliver Tearle | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Oliver Tearle

Sometimes authors don't shuffle off this mortal coil quietly or -- for want of a better word -- normally. Sometimes they meet a sticky and untimely end, and sometimes myths build up around an author's demise and we come to accept legend as fact.

Kevin Barry. Read Him.

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Anne Margaret Daniel

Two books positively straining at their bindings are in your local bookstore right now; pick them up, and you'll be glad you did.

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?

Fictional Characters We'd Hate to Meet

Dave Astor | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Dave Astor

Among the fictional characters we might want to avoid (if they somehow came to life) are murderers, liars, hypocrites, busybodies, racists, male chauvinists, militaristic men, rotten bosses, the money-obsessed and people who are just plain boring.

Bizarre Love Triangle: Me, Murakami and The Great Gatsby

Kalliope Lee | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Kalliope Lee

Murakami's books have for me served as a commentary on Gatsby. I read his work as if with a Gatsby divining rod, alert to allusions embedded in his narratives, which confirm my understanding of the classic.

How George Saunders Helped Me Find My Intellectual Life

Larissa Zimberoff | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Larissa Zimberoff

But for some, for many just a bit older than I, there was really real programming in the form of The Dick Cavett Show: live television that featured the great literary and cultural personalities of the time.

Deleting Tolstoy

Carl Pettit | Posted 12.08.2013 | Comedy
Carl Pettit

Tackling Tolstoy was an emotional, as well as a financial investment. Even if you couldn't wade through the hefty prose, that beautiful hardback edition would display prominently on your oak bookshelf, right next to your edition of Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce.

How to Enjoy Your Shutdown!

Rob Hiaasen | Posted 01.23.2014 | Comedy
Rob Hiaasen

What better time to look for another job than when you have been inhumanely shut out of your current job and your spirits have been harpooned?

Dissident Gardens: An Interview with Jonathan Lethem

Aimee Pozorski | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Aimee Pozorski

I had known, of course, about the influence of Philip Roth on Lethem, but I had not considered until recently the influence of Ralph Ellison's 1952 masterpiece, Invisible Man.

A Palliative to Obamacare Discord

Joseph Cooper | Posted 11.24.2013 | College
Joseph Cooper

These stories (I'm sure there are others) make vivid the embarrassments and fears of patients; their efforts to deal with deterioration, endure pain, and cope with unhinging and detachment. The reader, the viewer, and the re-reader can take cues from caregivers who ease the way to acceptance.

Fictional Characters We'd Most Like to Meet

Dave Astor | Posted 11.26.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

Some of the best novels have very believable protagonists, so it almost seems sort of/kind of possible to meet them. One of the pleasures of reading is immersing ourselves in a fictional world to the point where we can imagine being part of that world -- at least as a fly-on-the-wall.

This Movie Is Paul Thomas Anderson Meets Thomas Pynchon Meets J.D. Salinger

Bernard Radfar | Posted 11.24.2013 | Entertainment
Bernard Radfar

Now that we know a little too much about Salinger, will the real Thomas Pynchon please step forward. It is time, Tom. I get it, the work is the message, the gift.

A Bad Week for America's Invisible Men and Women, and for Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

Lester & Charlie | Posted 11.23.2013 | Politics
Lester & Charlie

Recently, Congress decided that cutting $40 billion from the food stamps program would be a good idea. After all, that budget works out to a whole couple of bucks a day for a portion of the 40+ million Americans living below the poverty line.

Literature, What Is It Good For?

Evan Gottlieb | Posted 11.23.2013 | Books
Evan Gottlieb

Recently, there has been another outbreak of public debate regarding what value, if any, the teaching of the liberal arts in general, and literature in particular, stills hold for college students.

Literary Monogamy and Polygamy

Dave Astor | Posted 11.12.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

For a number of years, liking a novel by a certain author set me off on a binge of consecutively reading other books by the same author. It made sense. If you love one fictional work by an author, there's a good chance you'll at least like another.

Meaningful Work in The Pale King: In Memory of David Foster Wallace, Five Years On

Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.10.2013 | Books
Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D.

That point is the solace the author left behind for us, as we mourn the fifth anniversary of Wallace's untimely passing with the recognition that no more new words from him are forthcoming.