Literary Hub2 min read
On The Labels Attached To Friday Black And The Booksellers Responsible For Its Success
Friday Black has been described by Tommy Orange as “a dystopian story collection as full of violence as it is of heart.” On this episode, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah shares with Mitchell why his book is “a lot about family, trying and figuring out ways
Literary Hub5 min read
Kim Adrian on Listening to What Our Nonfiction Is Trying to Tell Us
In 2002, I was an MFA student at the Bennington Writing Seminars, eager to finish a novel already underway. But halfway through the program, I discovered the narrative possibilities of nonfiction, and that changed everything for me. I dropped the nov
Literary Hub2 min read
Hilary Plum on Terrorism, Autoimmune Disease, and Blurring the Self/Other Line
The New Books Network is a consortium of author-interview podcast channels dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to a wide public via new media. They publish 100 new interviews every month and serve a large
Literary Hub3 min read
Scent and Sensibility: 5 Olfactory Novels
Scents are the stealth weapons in the arsenal of the senses. They head directly to the emotional parts of the brain, bypassing rationality. The memories they evoke are rich, immersive things, three-dimensional and intimate. Novels about scents tend t
Literary Hub10 min read
On Cora Crane and the Literary Women Who Prop Up Literary Men
By September 1900, Cora Crane was desperate for money. This wasn’t a new state of affairs; there was never enough money, even when her common-law husband Stephen Crane had been alive. But the author of The Red Badge of Courage had been dead for more
Literary Hub6 min read
The Uncertain Future of Sweden’s Floating Libraries
On a cold morning in a port a few miles outside Stockholm, a group of boys who don’t usually read are huddled around a table of books. “Is there any more coffee?” one of them shouts. The boys live on the Swedish island of Möja, a quiet, green island
Literary Hub9 min read
Billy Kahora on Binyavanga Wainaina’s Groundbreaking Work
I had two first meetings with Binyavanga Wainaina. The first was when he joined Carey Francis House (CF) in Lenana School as an incoming Fifth Former in the old A-level system. Binya turned CF into the house that produced prize-winning house plays in
Literary Hub3 min readTech
Trying To Convince Jeff Jarvis The Internet Is Bad For Democracy
Over the last ten years, I’ve been involved in an ongoing debate with the prominent blogger and social media personality Jeff Jarvis about the impact of the internet on democracy. Jarvis is the author of the bestselling book What Would Google Do as w
Literary Hub8 min read
What Happens When You Pose as Susan Sontag on Twitter?
“One of the main (social) functions of a journal or diary is precisely to be read furtively by other people,” Susan Sontag once wrote, appropriately, in her journal. But it’s hard to imagine that she could have predicted a future in which almost 15,0
Literary Hub3 min read
Kevin Powers on an Unsung Classic of American Nature Writing
A few years ago when I lived in Texas a friend asked me if I had a favorite place. Without reflecting I said, “The James River,”  to which she replied, “The whole thing? Is a river a place?” I saw right away what a curious answer it was, though I had
Literary Hub17 min read
On Fact, Fiction, and Translating Lena Andersson
Seconds after I meet Swedish novelist Lena Andersson, an older man with a small dog interrupts us. We’re on the cobbles outside the building where I’ve rented an attic room in Stockholm. It is a bright, cold February day in 2017. Between the 18th-cen
Literary Hub8 min read
Real Or Fake? Stuck In The Glitching Reality Of Contemporary America
While I was in my early thirties, my parents died in impolite succession. My mother first, in 2010, then my father in 2012. He was in his early eighties, but she was 16 years younger and had no business going anywhere. They passed the illness baton f
Literary Hub7 min read
Binyavanga Wainaina On His Childhood In The Infancy Of The Kenyan Republic
It is Saturday. I fake a nosebleed, and Mum lets me go to work with her. I don’t want to see Sophia Mwela. I know she will come to the hedge between our houses and call out for Ciru and ask her where her American cousin is. She will be laughing. I am
Literary Hub3 min read
Ryan Chapman on Stolen Ideas and How Dark Your Comedy Can Go
This week, Maris talks to Ryan Chapman, author of Riots I Have Known. Chapman is a Sri Lankan American novelist originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has written online and in print for The New Yorker, GQ, Longreads, Guernica, Bookforum, BOMB, a
Literary Hub8 min read
As a Teacher of Gothic Lit, I Should Have Known Better Than to Move into a Haunted House
It started with wasps. At the end of our first year in the house, they ate through the walls. I would find, first, the dusty piles of plaster by the baseboards, the strange detritus materializing like unlikely anthills on the ugly green carpet. Only
Literary Hub8 min readSociety
On the Rebel Southern Daughter Who Fought to Expose White Supremacy
Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin’s classic autobiography, The Making of a Southerner (1946) propelled white southern self-writing away from moonlight-and-magnolias and toward searing regional critique. Katharine was the youngest of three remarkable sisters w
Literary Hub6 min read
Six Of The Best Bad Women In Fiction
I’ve always felt it was the job of a good novel to dig in the dirt, which may be why the best ones always seemed to me to be the ones about women who were angry, sad, or just plain bad: women made reckless by ennui, women who resisted all the way, wh
Literary Hub6 min read
5 Reasons a Writer Should Move to Baltimore
I. You Have to Trust a City That Can Make “Ain’t it Hard Just to Live?” Sound Beautiful I came to Baltimore almost a year ago, happily, but with half a lifetime’s worth of suspicion: I grew up in and outside of D.C., where our nearest neighbor city w
Literary Hub6 min read
How Imagining Other Worlds Can Help You Imagine Other Selves
Of all the pleasures of speculative fiction, I may have missed world-building the most. Any compelling speculative world resembles ours enough to fascinate, but is also different enough to be visionary. Masters of the genre—like Margaret Atwood or
Literary Hub3 min readFood & Wine
Ann Beattie: What to Eat When Your Book Tour Comes to an End
Of course you can drink Bombay Sapphire straight from the bottle, with a shotglass of tonic water on the side, or indulge in a bag of Hershey’s Kisses (as much fun for your thumbs as texting), or scoop peanut butter straight from the jar with your fi
Literary Hub2 min read
Angie Kim On The Myth Of The Good Mother
On this week’s Reading Women, Autumn and Kendra talk with Angie Kim about her new book Miracle Creek, which is out now from Sarah Crichton Books. From the episode Autumn Privett: Can you talk about this concept of being a bad mother that shows up in
Literary Hub3 min read
Saskia Vogel on the BDSM Dungeons in Los Angeles Suburbs
Saskia Vogel is the guest on this week’s Otherppl. Her debut novel, Permission, is available from Coach House Books. Vogel was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in its sister city, Berlin, where she works as a writer and Swedish-to-English
Literary Hub6 min read
Anna Deavere Smith: Some Notes on Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field is the most recent installment in what I consider my life’s work: a series of plays I call On the Road: A Search for American Character. Since the 1980s, I have periodically traveled around America, interviewing large numbers of
Literary Hub5 min read
Ebony Thomas on Seeking the Fantastic When the World Tells You Not To
“There is no magic.” This statement, perhaps most famously attributed to Harry Potter’s uncle Vernon Dursley, is also something that my mother has said to me since I was a child. Magic has long been under siege in my culture, social class, and hometo
Literary Hub12 min read
13 Common Mistakes in Book Reviewing and How to Avoid Them
It’s easy to see why writing criticism attracts so many authors, aspiring or established, and other students of literature: it offers the opportunity to highlight a love of books while showing off one’s own chops as a writer and thinker. Insightful c
Literary Hub5 min read
The Biggest Influence on My Novel Is… McDonald’s?
If you ask about the influences on my novel, I will button my tweed blazer, pretend to blush, and name Martin Amis or Roberto Bolaño, maybe Calvin and Hobbes. In literary circles these replies get the right nods, and getting the right nods is the who
Literary Hub9 min read
How Do We Reverse the Tide of an Anti-Science America?
We live in extraordinary times for the understanding of science. In May, 2010, the prestigious journal Science published a letter signed by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences. It began “We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation
Literary Hub2 min read
The Boston Bookstore With A Focus On Writers Of Color
Frugal Bookstore, located in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, was founded by Clarrissa and Leonard Egerton with a focus on books by authors of color. What’s your favorite section of the store? My favorite section is African American Studies/Autobiograp
Literary Hub5 min read
“Make Them Care About What You Think” and Other Writing Advice from Nora Ephron
I’ve been rereading the work of American treasure Nora Ephron recently; this is something I can freely say at almost any time. Her birthday was this past weekend, but no one never really needs an excuse to revisit her genius. I do, on the other hand,
Literary Hub2 min read
‘Camp Fire,’ A Poem By Sam Sax
after the fires come rain & in the time between one devastation & another we delight in the normal pleasures of a sky weeping like an adolescent in a multiplex parking lot— how unusual for this place without water to be now drowned in it, people lift
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