Literary Hub10 min read
Did Camp Change Me? It Made Me a Liar, Which Is to Say a Novelist
Let’s begin with the snake. It was a rattlesnake, medium-sized, a nice long rattle the color of wheat. We found it sunning itself on the dirt path when Brandon and I led the kids back from the river. Brandon and I were both 20, in charge of six kids,
Literary Hub4 min read
How to Survive One of the World’s Biggest Literary Festivals
The mighty Hay Festival of Literature and Arts is turning 30 this year, and despite its incredible success and steady growth, it retains all the original charm of the early days in a small, Welsh valley town. We asked festival co-founder and one of H
Literary Hub4 min read
Bookselling Without Borders: My Tour Through American Bookstores
Like many places, New Zealand found its bookshops slowly dwindling over the past decade: Quilters is gone, though its previous owner still operates a private dealership from his home, as is Capital Books, which cited e-commerce from the other side of
Literary Hub7 min read
The First Great Instagram Novel?
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the Millennial-pink flower on the cover. Olivia Sudjic’s debut, Sympathy, has been dubbed “the first great Instagram novel,” and it touches on technology and intimacy and our obsession with the internet and the very da
Literary Hub6 min read
The Inherent Anxiety of the “Good Cop” Show
Within the first minute of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s fifth season finale, the show’s protagonist Detective Jake Peralta asks his colleagues to threaten a private citizen. It’s his wedding day, and his bride-to-be’s suddenly stained veil needs to be dry-cl
Literary Hub8 min readPsychology
Dear Rick Moody: How Do I Accept My Illness and My Inability to Write?
Dear Rick Moody, Life Coach: I’ve been ill for a few years, mostly bedridden. While there is reason to hope I’ll find some form of recovery in the next year or so, it’s not a given—and in any case, I want to cherish my life as it is today. I am writi
Literary Hub4 min read
Bringing Together Emerging Writers and Industry Professionals
The first time I went to Brooklyn’s Manhattanville Reading Series, in January 2016, it was packed. This was the inaugural event of the emerging writers series based at Manhattanville Coffee in Crown Heights, and the narrow space held a long, cafeteri
Literary Hub11 min read
Louise Penny on Surviving Childhood Fears with Charlotte’s Web
Will Schwalbe: Hi, I’m Will Schwalbe, and this is But That’s Another Story. My oldest goddaughter Ming read so much when she was a child that her mother had to beg her to stop reading long enough to eat. And every birthday and Christmas, I’d get Ming
Literary Hub15 min read
Remembering Publisher Peter Mayer
Peter Mayer who died at age 82 on May 11 was a dear friend, a mentor and an inspiration—truly one of the greatest publishers of our time. He was the Peter Mayer in Ibiza first—and maybe the last and only—publisher who worked with equal skill on bot
Literary Hub4 min read
What We Loved This Week
This was the week I became obsessed with BoJack Horseman, which I have previously been hesitant to approach, because I usually find cartoons for adults to be sort of hit or miss. Consider this my apology to everyone who has been trying to convince me
Literary Hub6 min read
The Power of W. G. Sebald’s Small Silences
Anyone who has read The Rings of Saturn, W. G. Sebald’s penultimate novel, likely remembers the book’s final pages. The Rings of Saturn follows a Sebald-like narrator as he walks along England’s eastern coast, letting his mind wander along with his f
Literary Hub4 min read
A Close Reading of True Grit‘s Perfect First Paragraph
Fifty years ago today, the first installment of Charles Portis’s True Grit was published in the Saturday Evening Post. It was reprinted in book form by Simon & Schuster later that year, adapted into a movie (with John Wayne!) the year after, and beca
Literary Hub4 min read
Be a Better Reader: Get Outside Your Genre Comfort Zone
It’s a rule of publishing that you don’t complain about your blurbs. If a fellow author is going to take the time and effort to read your book and offer a quote, you accept their words gratefully and graciously. So, I kept my mouth shut when I got a
Literary Hub3 min read
Michael Ondaatje on the Books He Loves to Reread
These are books I have read more than twice, and will again. (It is impossible of course to select only a handful of books. I could just as easily have picked others). One intent was to keep the books short, so that left out The Transylvanian Trilogy
Literary Hub5 min read
The Woman Bringing the Bronx its First Book Festival
Saraciea Fennell remembers the first time the seed was planted in her head of bringing a book festival to the Bronx. She was just starting out her career in publishing, attending the Brooklyn Book Festival as a publicist with Simon & Schuster. She’d
Literary Hub3 min read
Sophomore Slump? 6 Novels that Disprove an Old Cliché
I’ve never paid much attention to certain aspects of the books I love. Author’s biographies, generally speaking, don’t contribute much to my appreciation for a work. And I must confess that the sequence in which an author’s books appear (except for w
Literary Hub9 min readPolitics
The Return of Socialism in America?
In recent years, socialism has been on the rise—or was it ever really gone? In episode 17, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell talk to Dana Goldstein of The New York Times about what it’s like to cover teacher walkouts and strikes today, and how
Literary Hub13 min read
The Water War That Polarized 1920s California
At 1:30 on the morning of May 21, 1924, a thunderous explosion rocked the Owens Valley near the town of Lone Pine, echoing against the stark rampart of snowcapped Sierra to the west. Centered on a lonely stretch of the Los Angeles Aqueduct north of t
Literary Hub7 min read
Celebrating The Art Of The Book Cover
The following is drawn from a conversation that occurred at the opening night of Penguin Random House’s Be My Cover Exhibit, which features 100 of the best of their book covers published worldwide within the past 10 years. On Monday, Peter Mendelsund
Literary Hub5 min read
Fleeing Occupied Raqqa
I was getting the fuck out of Raqqa. Fleeing, maybe, but I didn’t like to think of it like that. I preferred to consider myself a traveler, engaged in picturesque sightseeing out of town. But whatever words I used, one thing was certain. After last w
Literary Hub4 min read
How to Run Storytime Without Boring Everyone to Death
For eight years I worked Storytime at a public library. When I mention this to people I get very mixed reactions. Sometimes, they’re impressed. They’ll ask about the crafts and the kids; they tell me it sounds like a rewarding experience. Others get
Literary Hub1 min read
Announcing the 2018 O. Henry Prize Stories
We are very happy to announce the O. Henry Prize Stories for 2018, edited by Laura Furman, which will appear in an eponymous anthology this September, from Anchor. Lauren Alwan “An Amount of Discretion,” The Southern Review Jo Ann Beard “The Tomb of
Literary Hub7 min readPsychology
The Art of the Moving Book Cover
Even amidst the wild swirl of technological developments over the last couple of decades, and despite our increasingly accelerated way of living, two mainstays from the beginning of the internet remain predominant tools in the way we communicate toda
Literary Hub5 min readBiographies & History
Tom Wolfe on the Writer’s Hippocratic Oath: “First, Entertain.”
Along with Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, and Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe was one of the early proponents of New Journalism. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1931, Wolfe began his career as an old-style journalist, banging out stories for the Springfiel
Literary Hub4 min read
William Trevor in America
My father, William Trevor, liked to tell a story about the first time he visited New York. It was in the 1960s when he was employed as an advertising copywriter for a London firm. He was attending some kind of convention along with several colleagues
Literary Hub9 min read
George Saunders on the Emotional Realism of Bobbie Ann Mason
1. When I was a grad student back in the 1980s, Bobbie Ann Mason was considered one of the Southern reps of the so-called “dirty realists” or “Kmart realists.” Her work was praised for its frank, unabashed inclusion of elements then supposedly unusua
Literary Hub4 min read
Christopher Isherwood Taught Me to Live Unapologetically
Since age 20, I’ve had a crush on Christopher Isherwood, both his books and his person, or my fantasy of him. I met him—his books—in LA’s A Different Light bookstore. I recognized in his work an outlaw quality I’d encountered in other writers I met o
Literary Hub11 min readSociety
Michelle Tea on Failure, Trump Voters, and Her Fantasy for the World
Maybe it was my dear friend, the playwright Madeleine George, who gave me my first Michelle Tea book. She’d long been smuggling queer texts into my too-straight life. It was Valencia, and I read it—no, inhaled it—in the way I inhaled all of Tea’s boo
Literary Hub7 min read
How Psilocybin Could Be Used in Mental Health Treatment
At New York University, psilocybin trips take place in a treatment room carefully decorated to look more like a cozy den than a hospital suite. The effect almost works, but not entirely, for the stainless steel and plastic fittings of modern medicine
Literary Hub3 min read
7 Writers Share Their Favorite William Trevor Story
In honor of the publication of William Trevor’s new, posthumous collection, Last Stories (Viking), we asked seven writers about their favorite story. Read a story from the collection here. One of his stories that has always spoken to me is “A Choice
…Or Discover Something New