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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

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

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

“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

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

}}} 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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

Henry Miller's Watercolors

Henry Miller had always loved art. He first began painting after seeing some Turner prints in a Brooklyn department-store window. There was only one minor drawback: he couldn’t draw. But his best friend, Emil Schnellock, could, and Miller became his disciple. It wasn’t long before he realized that what he lacked in draftsmanship, he made up for in color and composition sense. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 8, 2009 - 9 comments

In case you were wondering

Joyce explained. (via)
posted by kliuless on Nov 15, 2008 - 23 comments

Interviews with Venturous Writers

Dalkey Archive conversations with William Burroughs, Angela Carter, Robert Creeley, William Gaddis, William H. Gass, Danilo Kis, Harry Mathews, Richard Powers, Raymond Queneau, Hubert Selby, William T. Vollman, David Foster Wallace, and many other writers.
posted by Iridic on Oct 12, 2008 - 9 comments

Photographs of Authors

Pictures of writers in a thread on I Love Music. Lots and lots of pictures of lots of writers. Another thread from the same board with more pictures (some duplicates). Author photos are most often seen on dust jackets or in the back of books, a practice Frances Wilson wishes to see abolished. One famous connoisseur of pictures of writers is Javier Marías who wrote a whole book on the subject, Written Lives. Here are a few excerpts from the book: William Faulkner, Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen) and an edited extract covering a whole lot of authors. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 24, 2007 - 11 comments

"turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book."

The Page 69 Test --inspired by Marshall McLuhan's suggestion to readers for choosing a novel, a new blog, inviting authors to describe what's on page 69. One says: Not the best, but not the worst. If my pages were presidents, I’d put page 69 somewhere in the James K. Polk range.
posted by amberglow on Dec 11, 2007 - 28 comments

If you do not wish to be lied to, do not ask questions

B. Traven, A Mystery Solved [Flash video, 1hr] Excellent documentary on the astounding life and mysterious identity of the author of Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Flash video, 50mins] and The Death Ship.
posted by Abiezer on Sep 4, 2007 - 8 comments

Congratulations to Austria

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004: Elfriede Jelinek, probably best known for the story behind Michael Haneke's La Pianiste.
posted by mr.marx on Oct 7, 2004 - 22 comments

American literary idol star survivor search

The Quest announced by LitKicks marries sudden fiction (and poetry, and nonfiction) workshop dynamics to a survivor-like competitive format, starting October 1, with six winners to be published in a book featuring the best work from the Quest. It's open to all, costs $20 to enter, and requires a free membership in the LitKicks site, which is a thriving online literary community as it is. More info in the FAQ. I think this may work better for me than NaNoWriMo would.
posted by xian on Sep 16, 2003 - 4 comments

Authors au naturel

Don Swaim has posted numerous unedited interviews recorded in the 1980's with famous authors, including Anthony Burgess (who has some troubles recalling "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"), Douglas Adams, William S. Burroughs, and many more... even Richard Nixon. (RealAudio)
posted by starkeffect on Jun 27, 2003 - 6 comments

After 'The Bell Jar,' Life Went On

After 'The Bell Jar,' Life Went On. Sylvia Plath immortalized the guest editor program at Mademoiselle Magazine in her famed book, "The Bell Jar." A photo of the 20 young guest editors was taken back in 1953, and they were all lined up in a star -- with Plath, unsurprisingly, at the top. Plath killed herself in 1971, but the other women in her program reunited recently, to discuss their experiences, how they've changed, and their famous classmate. A fascinating read for anyone who's read "The Bell Jar." (NY Times reg required)
posted by GaelFC on Jun 23, 2003 - 24 comments

Fact, Fiction And Memoirs Masquerading As Novels

Is It Fiction If It Says "Fiction" On The Cover? Jorge Luis Borges brilliantly obscured fact and fiction presenting fiction as fact. Things seem to have swung round 180º and fact is now increasingly being sold as fiction. This certainly seems to be the case with Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved. She's Paul Auster's second wife and... Well... now even critics, like The New York Observer's Joe Hagan have joined the fun, as Slate's Katie Roiphe duly noted. Fact is now presented as fiction, without the traditional disguise of the roman à clef. I think it's sad. In fact, it's an attempt on the life of imagination itself. Perhaps these authors who write memoirs masquerading as novels could be sued under the Trade Description Act? [With thanks to the always excellent Literary Salon weblog. Thanks to ColdChef for pointing it out to me.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 23, 2003 - 28 comments

An Exercise in Identity

An Exercise in Identity A group of writers seeks to collaborate under a single pseudonym, not for fear of scorn or ridicule, but presumably because they think it makes for better business. Do readers have a right to know who a work's author really is, or can identity just be another aspect of the fictional work? (via Kuro5hin queue)
posted by Erasmus on Dec 19, 2002 - 27 comments

Literature of fact

'Literature of fact' The high wall which seperates fact and fiction has a small door in it through which people can step. A piece which discusses how someone writing a supposed eyewitness account of an event always tends to fictionalise, even unconciously, in order to make the subject interesting, the idea being that just because a book is in that section, it might not actually be completely non-fiction.
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 16, 2002 - 12 comments

A Year Of Days In Poetry:

A Year Of Days In Poetry: Today is the day Chaucer died. James Beattie, Macaulay and John Berryman were born on this same day. This is just one of the ways of entering Ian Lancashire's magnificent, monumental Representative Poetry Online. The timeline, the glossary of poetical terms and the fascinating collection of poets' writings on poetry are equally rich and generous. In a word, bliss.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 25, 2002 - 10 comments

Chaim Potok dead at 73

Chaim Potok dead at 73 Author of The Chosen, The Promise, My Name Is Asher Lev, and and many others has died of Brain Cancer. Here is a link to a biography and selections of his work for anyone who may be unfamiliar with his life and work.
posted by atom128 on Jul 24, 2002 - 7 comments

Tom

Tom Perrotta may be one of the best novelists working today, yet not that many folks know his name. His books and short stories portray prosaic suburbia accurately and without condescension, and he has uncanny insight into the mind of the terminally adolescent. Not to mention an uproarious sense of humor. If the films of Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater, the music of Weezer, or Pete Bagge's comics resonate with you, you may want to check out their literary equivalent. As an added treat, here's an audio link of Perrota reading his work. For my money, this guy is one of our best American writers right now, although you wouldn't know it.
posted by jonmc on Mar 2, 2002 - 10 comments

Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right

Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right Jorge Luis Borges didn't get it. Neither did Marcel Proust. But today V.S.Naipaul, arguably the best writer in the English language since Samuel Beckett died, was awarded the Nobel Prize. Doesn't this just show it helps not to be English(e.g. Irish, American, Indian or Trinidadian)to be able to write dry and timeless prose such as Sir Vidia's?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 11, 2001 - 29 comments

The literary voice of our generation

The literary voice of our generation...err...of his generation...umm...of your generation?
posted by Ms Snit on Jun 7, 2001 - 16 comments

Winner announced - official.
posted by Mocata on Nov 8, 2000 - 6 comments

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