198 posts tagged with writers.
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/vərˈbōs/

From plitter to drabbletail: a few writers choose the words they love. [The Guardian] [Books]
Dialect terms such as yokeymajig or whiffle-whaffle; all-time favourites like cochineal, clot or eschew; antiquated phrases such as ‘playing the giddy ox’ … leading writers on the words they cherish.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 29, 2015 - 32 comments

"Simplify your language and thereby find your humanity."

"The life-changing message of 'On Writing Well' is: simplify your language and thereby find your humanity." William Zinsser, journalist and nonfiction writer, passed away earlier this month. His book, "On Writing Well," is one of the definitive works on the craft of writing. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on May 23, 2015 - 21 comments

"The real rare bird is the writer who debuts after 40."

In writing class after writing class, I see time and again how the question of talent haunts the young, who come to class hoping to make it into that anointed group—those who publish to glory young. [But] the question of age haunts my older students more than talent.
[more inside]
posted by postcommunism on May 22, 2015 - 40 comments

the most horrifying chapter in European colonization

Dancing with Cannibals is an historical novel available as an ebook. From the Mefi Projects description page: "Never before has there been a novel about the genocide in the Congo Free State written in English by an African writer. Dancing with Cannibals would seem to have been influenced by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (which is also set in the Congo during the Belgian regime) and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, but Dicho Ilunga has not read either of those books. Ilunga’s writing is largely absent a European context. Ilunga describes his literary training as coming from the Zairian writers that he read in school and from two novels by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho who Ilunga says has an African style." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Apr 28, 2015 - 11 comments

Library of Congress Launches Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature

The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943, when Allen Tate was Consultant in Poetry. It contains nearly two thousand recordings—of poets and prose writers participating in literary events at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus as well as sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory. Highlights from the collection include: Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Mario Vargas Llosa, Rita Dove, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, W.S. Merwin, Sandra Cisneros, Amy Clampitt, Robert Pinsky , and Miłosz, Czesław, among many others. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Apr 16, 2015 - 7 comments

"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open."

Günter Grass, German Novelist and Social Critic, Dies at 87 [New York Times]
Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country’s moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday. He was 87.
Previously. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 13, 2015 - 36 comments

your one-stop Mary Wollstonecraft shop

"Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was thus a foremother of feminism. She was also a war reporter, a pedagogue, a spiritual quester, a radical republican, a single mother, a passionate & taboo-breaking lover. Her story is ripe for the telling. This blog gathers anecdotes, freelance research, resources, and news of current projects..." A Vindication of the Rights of Mary | Mary | The blog | Me
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Apr 5, 2015 - 7 comments

So what if Camus had made it to the cafe where Orwell was waiting?

One day in February 1945, in Paris, George Orwell waited at the café Deux Magots, where he was to meet Albert Camus for the first time.
"The Meeting That Never Was", an essay by Matthew Lamb in the LA Review of Books. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Mar 13, 2015 - 16 comments

R.I.P Sam Simon

Sam Simon, writer, producer, philanthropist and co-creator of The Simpsons has passed away of colorectal cancer at the age of 59. Previously.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 9, 2015 - 47 comments

“We clamor for our own stories, to see ourselves in narratives..."

The Struggle To Be A Good Critic [Electric Literature] How should or shouldn't white writers write POC characters?
posted by Fizz on Feb 17, 2015 - 34 comments

“I have great faith in fools - self-confidence my friends will call it.”

On Edgar Allan Poe by Marilynne Robinson [New York Review of Books]
"Edgar Allan Poe was and is a turbulence, an anomaly among the major American writers of his period, an anomaly to this day. He both amazed and antagonized his contemporaries, who could not dismiss him from the first rank of writers, though many felt his work to be morally questionable and in dubious taste, and though he scourged them in print regularly in the course of producing a body of criticism that is sometimes flatly vindictive and often brilliant.

posted by Fizz on Jan 16, 2015 - 14 comments

"Writers are always selling somebody out."

Céline Unveils Its Latest Poster Girl: Joan Didion [New York Times]
“I don’t have any clue,” said the 80-year-old author of well-thumbed classics such as “The White Album,” “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and “The Year of Magical Thinking,” reached by telephone on Wednesday at her Upper East Side residence (where the photo, by Juergen Teller, was taken). “I have no idea.” Whose idea was this? “They got in touch with me,” Ms. Didion said, as crisp as one of Phoebe Philo’s cotton tunics."
[The Céline ad featuring Joan Didion.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 8, 2015 - 17 comments

anxieties about lurid voyeurism, unwholesome interest: In Cold Blood

"Much has been said about the storytelling techniques of 'Serial,' which comes out in weekly installments even as the show’s host, Sarah Koenig, reinvestigates the conviction of a Baltimore-area teenager for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. The serialized approach teases its audience with cliffhangers, prompts its listeners to construct their own theories and invites outsiders to glimpse the tricky winnowing process of reporting. But 'Serial' also testifies to how much the criminal justice system itself is founded on storytelling." (Laura Miller, Salon: The new "In Cold Blood" revisionism: Why it doesn't matter if Capote’s classic wasn't fully true) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 8, 2014 - 31 comments

Death of an Expert Crime Writer

Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, best known as crime writer P.D. James, died today at the age of 94.
posted by orange swan on Nov 27, 2014 - 52 comments

Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo discuss Bob Dylan and Bucky Wunderlick

The following conversation took place in 2005 in front of an audience at the Telluride film festival in Colorado, after a screening of Martin Scorsese’s documentary, Bob Dylan: No Direction Home.
posted by Lorin on Nov 19, 2014 - 6 comments

On Holiday

Holiday’s urbane, martini-loving editor, Ted Patrick, and visionary art director, Frank Zachary, gave postwar America a passport to the glamour of travel, packing the magazine with big-name talent: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Kerouac, Cartier-Bresson, Steichen, et al. But, in 1964, tragedy would ground their flight. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 3, 2014 - 7 comments

What to read when pressed for time.

17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting by Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature:
This week author Ian McEwan expressed his love of short novels, saying “very few [long] novels earn their length.” Certainly it seems like a novel has to be a minimum of 500 pages to win a major literary award these days, and many genre novels have ballooned to absurd sizes.

I love a good tome, but like McEwan many of my favorite novels are sharpened little gems. It’s immensely satisfying to finish a book in a single day, so in the spirit of celebrating quick reads here are some of my favorite short novels. I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious titles that are regularly assigned in school (The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Mrs Dalloway, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, The Crying of Lot 49, etc.). Hopefully you’ll find some titles here you haven’t read before.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 23, 2014 - 51 comments

All aboard.

Meet the 24 writers chosen for the Amtrak Residency program (previously!). [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 24, 2014 - 43 comments

Though I suspect that title is incorrect in this context

Damien Walter presents 21 of the best British sci-fi (sic) writers of 2014 you probably haven't heard of.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 23, 2014 - 45 comments

"That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery."

Things That Don't Suck, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.

I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.

[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 19, 2014 - 162 comments

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

And the Pulitzer for "Best Recipe" Goes To....

Looking for American recipes to take to tonight's 4th of July party? It's easy to find historic recipes. But why not look to America's great fiction writers instead? [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jul 4, 2014 - 7 comments

To make a call the writer had to travel 18 miles

A visit to George Orwell's house on the remote Scottish island of Jura.
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 3, 2014 - 15 comments

This is serious.

The man, the writer, and his cigarette. Part II. Part III.
posted by The corpse in the library on Jul 2, 2014 - 13 comments

"I think I'm an okay writer, but a very good storyteller."

World's best-selling author James Patterson on how to write an unputdownable story. Interview with James Patterson. 'Patterson recently earned the distinction of being the best-selling author since 2001. Just to be clear, one of the author's books wasn't merely declared "the #1 bestseller," a blurb that pops up on front covers regularly. Rather, James Patterson is the top selling author in the world for the last 14 years. An estimated one out of every 17 hardcover novels purchased in the United States is his, dwarfing the sales of both Harry Potter and the sparkly Twilight vampires.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on May 1, 2014 - 92 comments

Trains Are Wonderful And People…?

Come on in and sit down. I wanna talk to you about trains for a minute. That's pretty much it. Still chuckling...
posted by Namlit on Mar 13, 2014 - 47 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

"That was I. That was me. That was the author of this book"

Kurt Vonnegut Reads Slaughterhouse-Five in 6 parts. Via discogs. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Mar 2, 2014 - 24 comments

Amtrak choo-choo-chooses writers for residencies

One writer's Tweet wishing Amtrak had residencies for writers results in just that.
posted by wintrymix on Feb 24, 2014 - 95 comments

From the Fifteenth Arrondissement

Mavis Gallant, one of finest writers in English of the 20th century, has died. Gallant was 91, and had been suffering from osteoporosis for many years. [more inside]
posted by jokeefe on Feb 18, 2014 - 16 comments

Putting off writing

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators "Over the years, I developed a theory about why writers are such procrastinators: We were too good in English class. This sounds crazy, but hear me out."
posted by dhruva on Feb 16, 2014 - 84 comments

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” The daily routines of famous writers. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 29, 2013 - 36 comments

Broadcast Quality

Script excerpts and development materials from The Top 20 Best Written TV Series [exhibit] from the Writers Guild Foundation collections. [more inside]
posted by maggieb on Oct 28, 2013 - 65 comments

The New York Review of Books turns 50

In February 1963, a new publication took advantage of the New York City printers strike and launched with a daring editorial: It does not, however, seek merely to fill the gap created by the printers’ strike in New York City but to take the opportunity which the strike has presented to publish the sort of literary journal which the editors and contributors feel is needed in America. The New York Review of Books is now 50. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Oct 21, 2013 - 7 comments

NO CATCHPHRASES

Good morning everyone, I've gathered you all here today because you're the best TV writers and we're going to write the greatest TV show of ALL TIME! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 2, 2013 - 28 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

Armed With Madness: Mary Butts, writer associate of Cocteau and Crowley

Mary Butts (1890-1937) was a British modernist novelist whose frequently overlooked writing has had a cult following largely composed of fellow writers such as Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. [more inside]
posted by larrybob on Jul 19, 2013 - 6 comments

Talking Famous Female Suicide: The Right, Wrong, and Vice Way

Vice's Women in Fiction issue contained “Last Words”, "a fashion spread featuring models reenacting the suicides of female authors who tragically ended their own lives." Jezebel called it "almost breathtakingly tasteless" and republished the photographs here after Vice removed them from their website. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Jun 19, 2013 - 118 comments

From Ritual to Performance

Great artists rise early, stay up late, float themselves in coffee, flirt with amphetamines, drink carefully, eat if necessary, take morning walks followed by afternoon naps, procrastinate, amuse themselves, avoid their friends, hold down jobs, indulge their oddities, and workwork like draft horses. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on May 6, 2013 - 35 comments

Eight Writers and the Walks That Inspired Them

Lovely illustration from the New York Times
posted by holmesian on Apr 22, 2013 - 12 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

The Book I am Working On Has Much Of The Punctuation Rinsed Out Of It.

Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Joseph O’Neill, and Ruth Padel on their shortcoming as writers.
posted by timsteil on Mar 10, 2013 - 2 comments

Kurt Vonnegut's diagram of how a story works

Maya Eliam does a graphic representing Vonnegut's thesis of story-telling.
posted by angrycat on Jan 18, 2013 - 33 comments

Write till your fingers bleed

25 new years resolutions for writers for 2013 (or any other year) by Chuck Wendig.
posted by Artw on Jan 1, 2013 - 69 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

Brasil profundo

A treasure trove of Brazil from the conflict between Natives and farmers to Music inspired by the bandit Lampião.
Discover writers (with a metafilter hat tip); Scary Lullabies e muito mais.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 10, 2012 - 5 comments

candid photos of famous people

"Extremely silly" photos of: "extremely serious" artists - "extremely serious" writers - "extremely serious" historical figures. Also 14 photos that shatter your image of famous people. A few images might be considered slightly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 29, 2012 - 65 comments

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

How Philip K Dick transformed Hollywood, who could be Hollywood's next PKD and how PKD could change your life.
posted by Artw on Oct 3, 2012 - 74 comments

Brilliantly Bad Books

There has never been another literary figure remotely comparable to “the divine Amanda” (whose real name was Anna Margaret Ross, née McKittrick). She was, many discriminating readers believe, at once the single most atrocious writer who ever lived and also one of the most mesmerizingly delightful. She was supremely talentless—she was wholly incapable of producing a single intelligent or well-formed sentence—and yet her incompetence was so sui generis that it constituted a kind of genius. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Oct 3, 2012 - 75 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

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