James Baldwin debates the ‘American dream’
I recently read an essay that has not left my mind. Day to day I find myself touching its polished, textured enamel like a talisman, a good luck charm at a time when I really need one. It’s the sort of essay that I instantly knew had changed the way I think, and about...read more
It has been said, erroneously, that poets are cat people, novelists dog people. In fact, lots of novelists are into cats. Hilary Mantel included a photo of her cat in her Art of Fiction interview. So did Ali Smith. Hemingway’s home is famous for its clowder of...read more
One evening over dinner, I began to joke, as I often had before, about writing an essay called “Men Explain Things to Me.” Every writer has a stable of ideas that never make it to the racetrack, and I’d been trotting this pony out recreationally every once in a while....read more
C harles Bukowski’s On Writing comes out from Ecco Books on August 27th. In honor of his birthday, this Sunday, August 16th, we offer here his most important insights on what it takes to be a writer. Source: Charles Bukowski's Rules for Writing | Literary...read more
By Jeffery Gleaves August 2, 2017 CORRESPONDENCE PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE AUTHORS AND THE WITTLIFF COLLECTION. From a September 4, 1990 letter from Sam Shepard, who died last week at the age of seventy-three, to Johnny Dark. Shepard and Dark’s forty-plus years of...read more
The late John Gardner, my writing mentor more than thirty years ago, once told a story about revision that has stuck with me. He said he gave a reading, and during the Q&A a woman raised her hand and said, “You know, I think I like your writing, but I don’t think...read more
The American poet Layli Long Soldier’s debut collection, “Whereas,” is in part a response to the Congressional resolution of apology to Native Americans, which President Obama signed in obscurity in 2009. There were no Native Americans present to receive the apology,...read more
VIS & I is an interior monologue during a harrowing cab ride through the streets of Tehran as Pardis rushes to the airport to stop her lover from leaving. Multiple narrative threads and flashbacks, real and imaginary voices—primarily that of Vis, the heroine of...read more
Beginning with a canary and ending with a warning from Eurydice, Under-Worldly gives poetic voice to the subterranean. This hybrid poetry collection examines what lies beneath, moving from water pipes in Michigan, to Colorado boomtown mines or to the emotional...read more
The voice of Martha LongFoot takes readers west of Florida’s Suwannee River on a journey of trial and redemption that spans the Jazz Age and Jim Crow, from the comfortable suburbs of New York to the lawless work camps of Florida’s primeval forest.“Darryl Wimberley’s A...read more
PEOPLE knew it was there: the vast amazing country of Gulag which, “though scattered in an Archipelago geographically, was, in the psychological sense, fused into a continent—an almost invisible, almost imperceptible country.” Trains went in, and people were sent to...read more
By Margot Singer July 31, 2017 ARTS & CULTURE THE FINAL PAGE OF CONTRAPUNCTUS XIV. Learning to play the piano as a kid, I was not especially fond of Bach. I loved Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorák, Brahms. Bach, on the other hand, hurt my head. Bach had to be...read more
The struggle is real for kimono-clad, minimalist characters in pseudonymous Japanese artist Zenjidou Yamada's anachronistic woodblock print-style illustrations. Yamada taught himself ukiyo-e with no professional schooling and has now prolifically catalogued the...read more
You’d be forgiven if, settling into the fall 2003 “Literature of the 16th Century” course at University of California, Berkeley, you found the unassuming 70-year-old man standing at the front of the lecture hall a bit eccentric. For one thing, the class syllabus,...read more
English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a...read more
TRANSLATION can be lonely work, which may well be why most translators choose the career out of interest, not because they crave attention. Until recently, a decent translator could expect a steady, tidy living, too. But the industry is undergoing a wrenching change...read more
A carbon paper hidden in the back of an old notebook owned by Sylvia Plath has revealed two previously unknown poems by The Bell Jar author. The paper, which was discovered by scholars working on a new book, has lain undiscovered for 50 years and offers a tantalising...read more
She lived in the graveyard like a tree. At dawn she saw the crows off and welcomed the bats home. At dusk she did the opposite. Between shifts she conferred with the ghosts of vultures that loomed in her high branches. She felt the gentle grip of their talons like an...read more
The Portuguese novel The Maias appeared in 1888, when its author, José Maria de Eça de Queirós (1845-1900), was forty-three years old. Eça had spent close to a decade working on the book—which he initially planned as the first entry in a series called “Scenes from...read more
The US has a new reader-in-chief. Since president Donald Trump doesn’t read much, philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is now the natural successor to Barack Obama and Oprah. Last week, Gates recommended a book for college graduates: Steven Pinker’s The...read more
In 1970, after various appointments in France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Tunisia, the French philosopher and epistemologist Michel Foucault took a Chair at the Collège de France in Paris. His job title was Professor of the History of Systems of Thought, and his...read more
On Seeing and Being Seen: The Difference Between Writing With Empathy and Writing With Love | Room Magazine
I’ve heard that when you see someone you love your pupils get bigger, as if your eyes themselves want to swallow them up and trap them inside. I don’t know if that same physiology applies to seeing objects, but I like to imagine my pupils were huge, hungry black orbs...read more
Recently at Literary Hub Headquarters (read: the bar down the street from our actual office), the editorial staff sat around discussing the books—and more specifically, the book covers—that have drawn the most blatant stares on the subway. We’ve all been there, right?...read more
What defines the great texts by great thinkers is that they can be read over and over again, every time provoking new thoughts. This is surely the case with Sigmund Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality from 1905. We have helped produce the new translation...read more
odern art lovers rejoice! The Guggenheim Museum in New York has just made more than 200 books about modern art available online. Not only can you read them online, but you can download them in PDF or ePub formats—for free—at the Internet Archive.For over half a decade...read more
It’s hard to think of anywhere in the world where becoming a poet is a canny career move, but this is especially true for the poorest and most disadvantaged trying to get a foothold in China’s frenzied special economic zones.In recent years there have been a flurry of...read more
Dumbing down Shakespeare: Are Americans too intellectually lazy to appreciate his genius? – The Washington Post
Chances are, unless you’re an English grad student or engaged in a lifelong swoon over Shakespeare, you haven’t read or seen “Timon of Athens.” Or even heard of it. Heck, my job is covering Shakespeare and I’ve never seen it. So the Folger Theatre’s mission at the...read more
“A few weeks ago, rummaging around the Strand, I came across a fiftieth-anniversary edition of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. It had the fern-green cover familiar from childhood, the same oversized dimensions, the same appealing sketch on its front—a squiggly...read more
VIS & I is an interior monologue during a harrowing cab ride through the streets of Tehran as Pardis rushes to the airport to stop her lover from leaving. Multiple narrative threads and flashbacks, real and imaginary voices—primarily that of Vis, the heroine of...
Beginning with a canary and ending with a warning from Eurydice, Under-Worldly gives poetic voice to the subterranean. This hybrid poetry collection examines what lies beneath, moving from water pipes in Michigan, to Colorado boomtown mines or to the emotional...
The voice of Martha LongFoot takes readers west of Florida’s Suwannee River on a journey of trial and redemption that spans the Jazz Age and Jim Crow, from the comfortable suburbs of New York to the lawless work camps of Florida’s primeval forest.“Darryl Wimberley’s A...
THE PROPHET is a book of 26 prose poetry essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is Gibran's best known work. The Prophet has been translated into over 40...
“What more is there to know about Paul Bunyan? Plenty, from the logging camps of the late 1800’s to the start of mechanized tree harvesting–and the giant of a man who spanned it all. Darryl Wimberley’s narrative is no mere tall tale but a full-fledged novel, with...
“Is this Heaven’s cloud I sleep on is why my eyes see only white hazy shadows Are you saints floating here? Stop your flight, fair silent beings! Come closer so that I might know your strange faces!” The customized Cessna jet aircraft Sheila Stoffel is piloting...
Sherman Smith’s new novel, GOLDEN CITY ON FIRE, is a true pleasure to read. It is a thriller, written as if you were there – at the time of the Great San Francisco earthquake in 1906. It is as if you were suffering the fire and chaos, the heartbreak of such a tragedy....
Call Me Chameleon: The selective memory of a kaleidoscopic-eyed globetrotter, from age 3 to this day
To write an autobiography is a feat that is difficult, painful, and often feels foreign due to the fact that most of the stories have already been told in various forms through fiction, essays and poetry…
When Noah Johnson begins a light-hearted search for Bigfoot, he has no idea what’s in store for him. The creatures are real and far more intelligent than anyone has yet imagined. Climate change has brought drought, and a forest fire becomes a life-and-death battle for...