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Finance as a novelistic plot engine

An unpublished interview with novelist Sol Yurick by BLDGBLOG's Geoff Manaugh. "[S]uppose we think of The Iliad as one big trade war. Troy, as you know, sat on the route into the Black Sea, which means it commanded the whole hinterland where people like the Greeks and the Trojans did trading. The Trojan War was a trade war." (previously on the 2013 passing of the writer of The Warriors) [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Jan 3, 2014 - 15 comments

Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out

"There is consternation at Wikipedia over the discovery that hundreds of novelists who happen to be female were being systematically removed from the category American novelists and assigned to the category American women novelists." [more inside]
posted by dubusadus on Apr 30, 2013 - 169 comments

"You must live till you die."

The Disappeared. "How a fatwa changed a writer's life." A third-person autobiographical essay, by Salman Rushdie. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 10, 2012 - 18 comments

"Yes."

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam: "Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia, it seems like every windbag off the street thinks he can write great, original fantasy, too. The problem is that most of this "great, original fantasy" is actually poor, derivative fantasy. Frankly, we're sick of it, so we've compiled a list of rip-off tip-offs in the form of an exam. We think anybody considering writing a fantasy novel should be required to take this exam first. Answering "yes" to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once."
posted by Fizz on Jan 10, 2012 - 306 comments

Beattitudes

The Nation's William Deresiewicz looks at Ann Beattie's evolution as a writer.
posted by reenum on Nov 28, 2011 - 5 comments

Michel Houellebecq is missing.

Novelist and H.P. Lovecraft biographer Michel Houellebecq is missing. Houellebecq was due to give a reading from his new work Le Carte et le Territoire, in the Netherlands on September 12th. [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust on Sep 15, 2011 - 49 comments

"Engagement, escape, engagement, escape."

"In the making of character, I feel completely happy. [...] I get two innocent people into a Hitchcockian muddle and make them fight their way out. But from scene to scene, they have to lead me. [...] To me, that is the whole of life. I can’t put it differently." Today's Democracy Now! features an extended interview with John le Carré on topics from Tony Blair, geopolitics, and money laundering to the novelist's life and work.
posted by RogerB on Oct 11, 2010 - 10 comments

RIP Paul Quarrington 1953-2010

Canadian author Paul Quarrington - best known for his 1989 novel Whale Music, about a reclusive Brian Wilson figure holed up in a beach house writing songs to play for cetaceans - has died of lung cancer this morning at the age of 56. [more inside]
posted by gompa on Jan 21, 2010 - 19 comments

Joseph Conrad reviewed

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary since the birth of Joseph Conrad [Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim etc], The Guardian's Giles Foden makes a fair attempt at assessing the great novelist's legacy. [via]
posted by peacay on Dec 4, 2007 - 15 comments

Stephen J. Cannell: Dyslexia

Stephen J. Cannell has created/co-created over 40 TV shows, written over 450 TV scripts for shows like The Rockford Files and The A Team , and 12 mystery novels. What's the catch? He is dyslexic..
posted by CameraObscura on Jan 17, 2007 - 40 comments

A day to be thankful for resublimated thiotimoline.

Think you get a lot done? Isaac Asimov (pronounced like "has, him, of" without the h's) , who would have turned 87 today, wrote or edited over 500 books, including science-fiction novels, introductions to organic chemistry (a field in which he held a professorship at B.U.) , indispensable anthologies of early science fiction, jokebooks, guides to Shakespeare, and collections of lively essays on science that have introduced thousands of people to the pleasures of thinking hard about the universe. He also found the time to write a few essays and write postcards to his fans. His story "Runaround" , from his 1950 collection I, Robot, is the only piece of fiction I know centered on the properties of a differential equation. His Foundation Trilogy was given a special Hugo award in 1966 as the best science fiction series of all time; a movie version, to be written by Jeff Vintar and directed by Shekhar Kapur, is currently in development. Previous AsimovFilter: here, here, here. Feel like a slacker yet? Stop reading MetaFilter and get to work!
posted by escabeche on Jan 2, 2007 - 95 comments

Dr Sax Examines Duluoz

"Without any particular training or background, this patient, just prior to his enlistment, enthusiastically embarked upon the writing of novels. He sees nothing unusual in this activity." Who was the patient? A 21-year-old seaman named Jack Kerouac, who would become the author of On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Dr. Sax, Visions of Cody and many other great novels that you should be reading instead of these gaddam websites. (The diagnosis from the Navy doctors, "schizoid personality," earned Kerouac a discharge.) A hilarious and poignant find from The Smoking Gun.
posted by digaman on Oct 2, 2005 - 19 comments

Poetic Justice?

"First Wives Club" author Olivia Goldsmith dies. How? Plastic surgery.
posted by adrober on Jan 17, 2004 - 20 comments

Download a book!

Mathew Branton, an established author is giving away his latest novel "The Tie and The Crest", for free on the internet, here he explains why. It's all very noble and I applaud it. While we are on the subject, has anyone mentioned the Big Read yet?
posted by Fat Buddha on Apr 13, 2003 - 11 comments

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