James Baldwin debates the ‘American dream’
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
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
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
Here are some things that you can’t do with a Kindle. You can’t turn down a corner, tuck a flap in a chapter, crack a spine (brutal, but sometimes pleasurable) or flick the pages to see how far you have come and how far you have to go. You can’t remember something...read more
This colourful collection of Irish insults dates from the Early Medieval era and is primarily based on the period’s satirical poetry and prose. The insults are sourced from the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language which in this instance relies heavily...read more
The wonderful Dr. Laurence Williams, who teaches English Literature at Tokyo University, posted an intriguing picture a couple of days ago of the grave at Zoshigaya Cemetery of his name-sake predecessor at Tokyo University, "Dr. John Lawrence", together with an...read more
Every writer needs a hobby. When he isn’t writing bleak, bloody fiction or exploring the primal violence at the heart of the American experience, Cormac McCarthy likes to unwind with a little theoretical scientific research. Who doesn’t? His work at the Santa Fe...read more
Today, I received a very especial gift from a lovely friend on Facebook unexpectedly! Jeanette Leone Skirvin prepared an amazing audio of my recently published poem "Out of Time". Her lovely voice and peaceful music took me to a beautiful journey and I would like to...read more
For a while, I was seeing a guy who really liked David Foster Wallace. He once forced me to do cocaine by shoving it inside me during sex. He wasn’t the first man to recommend Wallace, but he’s the last whose suggestion I pretended to consider. So while I’ve never...read more
In The Fall of Language in the Age of English, Minae Mizumura offers a harsh judgment on the state of Japanese literature. “Representative works of today’s Japanese literature,” she writes, “often read like rehashes of American literature—ignoring not only the...read more
NGŨGĨ WA THIONG’O is a world-renowned Kenyan writer, scholar, and social activist. Ngũgĩ’s diverse body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, articles, essays, and poems, which have been translated into over 60 languages. A Distinguished Professor of...read more
I learned my lesson with Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. A few days before having surgery that would render him immobile for weeks, my father requested that I lend him some books to read. I carefully selected a stack of new releases and a few classics he had...read more
In the US, most students are required to read To Kill a Mockingbird during their school years. This classic novel combines a moving coming-of-age story with big issues like racism and criminal injustice. Reading Mockingbird is such an integral part of the American...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...