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Trans Women's Lit

Trans women writers Jeanne Thornton, Imogen Binnie, Red Durkin and Casey Plett read from their recent works for Talks at Google. [more inside]
posted by emmtee on Jul 6, 2014 - 11 comments

Miles and Miles of No-Man's Land

"Certainly, there appears to be a large correlation between artists and depression. But I would argue that artistic expression is not a symptom of depression so much as a response to it. I see writing as an act of resistance against an occupying enemy who means to kill me. It’s why I’m writing this now." YA author Libba Bray on living with depression.
posted by changeling on Mar 6, 2014 - 15 comments

An Open Door to Extraordinary Worlds Opens Wider

The 92 Street Y in New York has just launched an amazing online resource, 92Y On Demand, with recordings from their massive catalog of some of the interviews and performances that have occurred there going back to 1949. Some of the many speakers include Kurt Vonnegut, Chinua Achebe, Sherman Alexie and Sapphire, Dylan Thomas, Maria Bamford, Lou Reed, Dan Savage, Junot Díaz and Jamacica Kincaid, Maurice Sendak, Ruth Reichl with Ann Patchett, David Rakoff, and Leonard Lopate, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 25, 2013 - 11 comments

Thanks to Paul F. Tompkins, for no particular reason.

The Dead Authors Podcast: Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun! [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 2, 2013 - 23 comments

What can brown (water) do for you?

Greenville, Mississippi lies in the heart of the Delta and claims a number of writers from its neck of the woods, including Walker Percy and Shelby Foote. What is it about Greenville that would produce such talent? Is there something in the water? Some people think so.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 15, 2013 - 9 comments

Monkey. Plane ticket. Dictionary. Go!

The Pen is Mightier than The Diving Elbow Drop Lucha Libre is Mexico's answer to wrestling. Fighters put on masks an duke it out in the ring. In Peru they have Lucha Libro where aspiring authors put on masks go on stage where they are given 3 random words with which they are given 5 minutes to write a short story. The loser has to take off his mask. The winner goes onto another round. The grand prize winner receives a book contract.
posted by 2manyusernames on Oct 5, 2013 - 22 comments

It's Not Slash Fic If It Actually Happened

Oscar Wilde And Walt Whitman Totally Did It (The Sex).
posted by The Whelk on Sep 17, 2013 - 80 comments

Out of sight, but not out of mind

One of the 20th century's most prolific and well regarded authors of crime fiction, Elmore Leonard, has died at the age of 87, following a stroke two weeks ago. Leonard's novels and short stories were frequently adapted to movies and television, with particular acclaim in the cases of Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, and Justified.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 20, 2013 - 103 comments

Sometimes it's lovely to be read a bedtime story, even as an adult.

A wonderful, generous and free selection of authors, collections and books online at Lit2Go for awake times or drowsy ones. The Count of Monte Cristo from the Adventure collection | or perhaps a Just So Story from the Fantasy collection | Beowolf from the Here Be Dragons! collection | Aladdin from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors or The Heart of Happy Hollow from the African American collection. Also practical for children. Previously. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 5, 2013 - 9 comments

Coverflip

Coverflip is a one day Twitter project created by author Maureen Johnson. There are only three rules: 1. Take a well-known book. (It’s up to you to define well-known.) 2. Imagine that book was written by an author of the OPPOSITE GENDER. 3. Now, COVERFLIP! Make the new cover and put it online. Tweet or Tumbl it with the tag #coverflip.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 6, 2013 - 29 comments

How to Live at the Met

If you ever wanted to run away and live at the museum, you probably read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Author and two-time Newbery Award winner E. L. Konigsburg who gave the runaway Kincaid siblings a mystery to solve at the Metropolitan Museum of Art died today at age 83. Konigsburg attended what later became Carnegie Mellon University, majoring in chemistry, and went on to teach science before writing children's books. (previously)
posted by girlhacker on Apr 20, 2013 - 77 comments

“I never attacked anyone weak."

Cult writer Renata Adler, whose novel Speedboat has been reissued by NYRB Classics, sits down for an interview with The Believer. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 29, 2013 - 6 comments

BBC Radio 4 Book Club: 179 episodes now available online

Book Club. This 30-minute programme's been on Radio 4, the BBC's premier speech radio station, since 1998. Books are announced a month in advance, giving listeners a chance to read the chosen title before the discussion. James Naughtie then interviews the book's author about it in front of an audience of his (or her) readers, who also put questions of their own. My favourites from the programme's archive include Alan Bennet (Writing Home), Clive James (Unreliable Memoirs), Douglas Adams (a 1 hour special on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Elmore Leonard (Rum Punch), James Ellroy (Black Dahlia), PJ O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell) and Stephen Fry (The Hippopotamus). No doubt you'll have your own. [more inside]
posted by Paul Slade on Feb 12, 2013 - 8 comments

Highlighting forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers.

Writers No One Reads
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 17, 2012 - 34 comments

Konna yume wo mita.

[Contemporary Okinawan author] Medoruma cuts an odd figure. He plays the recluse but is also an angry writer, powerful and loquacious. His work is at times beautiful, and at others horrifying, often in quick succession…
posted by Nomyte on Sep 21, 2012 - 3 comments

Please do not feel the necessity to send us more pieces under a clumsy pseudonym.

The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure: poignant tales of the justly obscure. The entry on Hans Kafka is a good starting point.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 7, 2012 - 11 comments

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books catalogs the top ten favorite books of over 140 major authors and growing, including Louis D. Rubin, Jim Harrison, David Foster Wallace, David Leavitt, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, and many more. Here's the list of books rank-ordered by frequency and here are other lists compiled from the statistics.
posted by shivohum on Jul 28, 2012 - 40 comments

Author interviews

"Book TV's After Words features the author of a recently published hardback non-fiction book interviewed by a guest host with some knowledge, background, or connection to the subject matter of the book." There's also a podcast version (link goes to XML feed), for those who'd rather listen. Many more non-fiction author interviews can be found at Booknotes (transcripts and streaming video). If your tastes run to interviews with authors of fiction, check out the BBC's Modern Writers archive. (BookTV (but not specifically After Words) previously, Booknotes (but before the series ended) previously.)
posted by cog_nate on Jun 22, 2012 - 7 comments

}}} so — ;;;;[blacked out ]] # # # – do you have my (keys)}} ?

Drunk texts from famous authors. (More good ones in the comments)
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 19, 2012 - 40 comments

Smart Authors and Designers Discuss Their Covers

Talking Covers: authors and designers talk about the ideas behind their book covers. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Jun 13, 2012 - 9 comments

If More Gyms Had Sword Fighting Classes....

"I'm in a nondescript warehouse in Seattle, to which I've traveled so that award-winning science fiction novelists can demonstrate how they could cut me in half if they felt like it." i09 Talks to Neal Stephenson about working on the multi-author IP-experiment *thing* The Mongoliad and sword fighting as a heart-healthy hobby.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 3, 2012 - 29 comments

What becomes a legend most?

In 1929, John Galsworthy won a Guardian poll as the novelist most likely to still be read in 2029. Three years later, he won the Nobel Prize, and the prices of his first editions skyrocketed. His reputation has since been on a 80-year wane that shows no signs of abating. The New Yorker asks Why is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? And who will they be teaching in literature class a century from now?
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 22, 2012 - 65 comments

"...for the next tour, I’ll either be calm and collected or nervous with a dangerously out-of-control boner."

The Awl: Nine Writers and Publicists Tell All About Readings and Book Tours
posted by zarq on Apr 12, 2012 - 18 comments

"The bed has become a place of luxury to me! I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world."

Literary Style: 15 Writers' Bedrooms: Truman Capote, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O'Connor, Alexander Masters, William S. Burroughs, Slyvia Plath, Henry David Thoreau, Victor Hugo, Emily Dickinson, Miranda Seymour, Mary Roach, Marcel Proust, Michael Morpurgo, William Faulkner.
posted by Fizz on Apr 4, 2012 - 29 comments

"Bringing up the women’s question — I mean the women’s fiction question — is not unlike mentioning the national debt at a dinner party."

If “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention? Or would this novel (which I loved) have been relegated to “Women’s Fiction,” that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated? Certainly “The Marriage Plot,” Eugenides’s first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Middlesex,” was poised to receive tremendous literary interest regardless of subject matter, but the presence of a female protagonist, the gracefulness, the sometimes nostalgic tone and the relationship-heavy nature of the book only highlight the fact that many first-rate books by women and about women’s lives never find a way to escape “Women’s Fiction” and make the leap onto the upper shelf where certain books, most of them written by men (and, yes, some women — more about them later), are prominently displayed and admired.
So begins The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women, an essay in the New York Times by novelist Meg Wolitzer. She was interviewed about her essay in the NYT Book Review podcast (mp3 link, interview starts at about 18:30). Wolitzer references the classic 1998 essay by Francine Prose, Scent of a woman's ink: Are women writers really inferior?, and further back in time you find Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, which, as literary critic Ruth Franklin notes, still sounds fresh today.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 4, 2012 - 105 comments

No Symbols Where None Intended

Pages from Beckett's wartime manuscripts - from Watt, written in ink and colored crayons between 1940 and 1945, numbers 945 pages in six notebooks and loose sheets. More from Watt, part of a larger 2006 Samuel Beckett Centenary Exhibition, Fathoms from Anywhere.
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 29, 2012 - 8 comments

Exercising the Power of Market Share

Last week, small press distributor Independent Publishers Group (IPG) announced that Amazon has decided to stop selling Kindle editions for the publishers IPG represents. The decision impacts over 500 small publishers and almost 5,000 Kindle titles. Neither party has offered much in the way of specifics, but other publishers have been reporting that Amazon has been pressuring them to offer higher discounts and/or pay a “co-op” fee of an additional 3%-4% on all sales to cover the cost of offering “automation and personalization” services (i.e. Customers who bought x also bought y). Authors and publishers have been reacting to the development.
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 28, 2012 - 51 comments

The Most Dangerous Man in Publishing

Barney Rosset, former owner of the influential Grove Press and Evergreen Review, boundary-shattering publisher of Tropic of Cancer, Waiting for Godot, and Naked Lunch, and U.S. distributor of I Am Curious (Yellow), died yesterday at the age of 90.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 22, 2012 - 30 comments

"I’m curious about what will happen next."

"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed. [more inside]
posted by mokin on Feb 15, 2012 - 17 comments

John Christopher [1922-2012]

Samuel Youd, who wrote under the name John Christopher, has passed away. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on Feb 6, 2012 - 53 comments

Read twice, pass to your left.

A list of pothead novels.
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 28, 2012 - 61 comments

"Except for that Abercrombie. Swear that guy has Plot Armor to prevent anything bad from ever happening to him, just like his characters."

10 SFF Authors Play D&D Together’ by Brent Weeks
posted by Fizz on Jan 25, 2012 - 39 comments

Save as new

Matthew Kirschenbaum, an English professor at the University of Maryland, is exploring the literary history of word processing. In a lecture at the New York Public Library entitled Stephen King's Wang, Kirschenbaum asks "When did literary writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relation to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter, or was it something more?"
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 27, 2011 - 41 comments

Tales for Little Rebels

Was your favorite childhood book written by a radical lefty? Scholars reveal the socialist history of 20th century American children's literature. Discover the myriad connections between midcentury American socialism and Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Syd Hoff (Danny and the Dinosaur), and the authors of many of the Little Golden Books and I Can Read Books.
posted by Miko on Sep 20, 2011 - 55 comments

Can you spare an hour and a half?

Want to learn about Nietzsche? Kierkegaard? Wittgenstein? How about Kafka or Virginia Woolf? [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Aug 2, 2011 - 14 comments

Turning writers into rock stars

"You never hear, “Famous author Neil Gaiman caught with seven stewardesses in a Wichita bus depot.” Chuck Wendig says, "We need literary rock star heroes to swoop in and save publishing." Well, perhaps... But can you picture this? "The authorial world demands this. And we’re not talking about some little Twitter snit, some online battle oozing across a handful of Livejournal comments. It’s not enough for Stephen King to talk to Entertainment Weekly and be all like, “Well, Stephenie Meyer is no J.K. Rowling, pfft.” I’m talking, Terry Pratchett needs to go and take a shit in Dan Brown’s mailbox."
posted by jenfullmoon on Jul 30, 2011 - 144 comments

Something about bells, balls and bulls

Your favorite author sucks. (According your another of your favorite authors.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Jun 20, 2011 - 96 comments

The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way. - Mark Twain

Writers and Kitties That's pretty much it. Authors and their cats. My favorite is Mark Twain.
posted by desjardins on Apr 9, 2011 - 51 comments

Bill, your beard is ridiculous.

Insulted by Authors. Book lover Bill Ryan had the clever idea to start asking his favorite authors to insult him instead of simply signing their books. (Via)
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 29, 2011 - 24 comments

Cheese sandwiches required.

The anchovies are restless. Margaret Atwood, grand dame of Canadian letters, addresses the future of publishing. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Feb 22, 2011 - 44 comments

"We are already experts at lying to ourselves"

Clancy Martin is the chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also an unabashed liar, a recovering alcoholic, and was once suicidal. He's surprisingly honest, and has written extensively about all three of these things. Prior to becoming a professor, he dropped out of grad school, made a small fortune in the murky world of luxury jewelry sales, and nearly became the world's leading dealer of counterfeit Fabergé eggs along the way. He occasionally writes an advice column about lying, and even wrote a few books about it. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Jan 4, 2011 - 29 comments

Nikos Kazantzakis

They think of me as a scholar, an intellectual, a pen-pusher. And I am none of them. When I write, my fingers get covered not in ink but in blood. I think I am nothing more than this: an undaunted soul. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 24, 2010 - 9 comments

I [heart] Librarians

Libraries are, for many of us, the public places where we bring our most private selves, our fears and our dreams, so long buried and so studiously unspoken. The librarian checking out a stack of books may be for many of us, the equivalent of the first person we’ve told a secret to. Which brings me to the real reason I chose the profession that I did for my narrator: Even more than libraries, I love librarians.
As Others See Us: An Author On Why She Loves Librarians
posted by carsonb on Nov 24, 2010 - 30 comments

Hint: It's spelled *Allen*.

Mental Floss has some good stuff, but I really like their quizzes. Especially the "Who Am I" series. Novels. Poets. Actors. Sports. Wonders of the World. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Oct 14, 2010 - 13 comments

Check out her golden apples of the sun

Ray Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Now, his reputation is complete, with a work-inappropriate music video about sleeping with him. [more inside]
posted by audacity on Aug 16, 2010 - 57 comments

LeVar Burton never saw it coming

Modern drinking games are often crafted around movies or television, leaving dry those with literary ambitions. Now you avid readers can get in on the fun! (via) [more inside]
posted by Korou on Aug 7, 2010 - 95 comments

Reporting the Internet: American Blogs 1999-2010

Reader's Almanac is a new blog devoted to the authors published in the Library of America. Posts so far have featured film shot by Zora Neale Hurston, audio recordings of William Faulkner, and Walt Whitman's astronomical inspiration.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 27, 2010 - 4 comments

If you're a Leftie you like Ellison and Herbert. If you're a Rightie you like Anderson and Heinlein.

New Maps of Science Fiction
The first question that naturally comes to mind about stories and authors is "How much do you like them?" Literary critics try to go far beyond this simple query, but it is the one that people ordinarily care most about, and for us it is the most important sociological question. Using modern techniques of analysis we can recover a tremendous amount of hidden information from statistics of people's likes and dislikes.
Analog Yearbook, 1977, pages 277-299. (via)
posted by P.o.B. on Jul 18, 2010 - 45 comments

I Write Like

I Write Like... Check what famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them to those of famous writers.
posted by swift on Jul 14, 2010 - 376 comments

How to Pay the Writer

Writers get pirated too - so how can they still earn money? Here are some ideas, but are they workable? [more inside]
posted by divabat on May 3, 2010 - 184 comments

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