Literary Hub7 min readPsychology
Idra Novey and Esmé Wang Talk Mental Health and Writing
In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, writers Idra Novey and Esmé Wang talk to hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell about Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford, trauma, and mental health. To hear the full episode, subscribe to
Literary Hub3 min read
Maybe All Bankers’ Mansions Should Become Libraries?
Built for one of the most prominent figures of the Gilded Age by the leading architectural firm of its time, the Morgan Library is a superb work of architecture, and a harmonious blend of exterior and interiors. The Renaissance Revival building cont
Literary Hub5 min read
An Open Letter to My Mentors: Thank You
To my mentors, Thank you. There are many of you and you know who you are. I was born in Queens but I’m from Spring Valley, Rockland County, New York. I say that a lot. Not for no reason, but because where I’m from, being so close to the city where it
Literary Hub13 min read
A Century of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined the 1930s
Some books are flashes in the pan, read for entertainment and then left on a bus seat for the next lucky person to pick up and enjoy, forgotten by most after their season has passed. Others stick around, are read and re-read, are taught and discussed
Literary Hub8 min read
Midwestern Women: An Essential Reading List
My earliest awareness of the Midwest as a region—and myself as a Midwesterner—came from reading novels by male writers. I spent much of my early adulthood immersed in the mute physicality of Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories, the Michigan wilderness of
Literary Hub4 min read
Amy Bloom On The Legacy Of Thom Jones
“The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.” “Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.” —From Thom’s favorite guy: Schopenhauer Thom Jones’s lies—his sentences and stories—were more persuasive, more importan
Literary Hub4 min readScience
The Hard Art of Balancing Writing with Raising an Autistic Child
I was a twice-published novelist on the day that my husband Michael and I went to see a psychologist about our son. William was so fearful and inflexible that in spite of the reassurances of various friends (“but all kids like routine/have tantrums a
Literary Hub1 min read
Anthea Bell, Translator of Sebald, Kafka, and Asterix, Has Died at 82
Anthea Bell, beloved English translator of W. G. Sebald, Stefan Zweig, Cornelia Funke, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, E. T. A. Hoffmann, and the Asterix comics, among others, died this morning at the age of 82. She translated primarily French and German
Literary Hub5 min read
Reading Across America: Brooklyn’s Tables of Contents
When I walked into Egg in Williamsburg alone for a reading series on a Wednesday night last fall, I didn’t know what to expect. The Brooklyn restaurant was outfitted normally—in the back, where we were gathering, tables that seat two to four people l
Literary Hub5 min read
Elif Shafak On Ways Of Knowing And The Women In Her Life
One of my earliest memories is of Grandma melting pieces of lead in a tiny pot and then pouring the ash-gray liquid into a bowl of salted water. A sizzling sound. A strong smell. I held my breath, waiting without knowing for what, overwhelmed by both
Literary Hub5 min read
Worst Pope of All Time?
“. . this monster without one single virtue to atone for his many vices.” –The verdict of the bishops convened by Otto to try Pope John XII Alluring and talented, Marozia was a powerful noblewoman who became a senatrix and patrician of Rome, queen o
Literary Hub11 min read
Life Got You Down? Time to Read The Master and Margarita
‘“And what is your particular field of work?” asked Berlioz. “I specialize in black magic.”’ If many Russian classics are dark and deep and full of the horrors of the blackness of the human soul (or, indeed, are about the Gulag), then this is the on
Literary Hub7 min readPolitics
How Slavery Lives On in the American Prison-Industrial Complex
“Race came up again when the jury heard four other phone calls to the police by Mr. Zimmerman reporting suspicious people in the neighborhood, all of them black.” –Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times When black people first set foot in the territory
Literary Hub1 min read
Anna Burns Wins the 2018 Man Booker Prize
Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel, Milkman. As of this afternoon, 27-year-old Daisy Johnson, the youngest author ever to make the Booker Prize shortlist, was also the favorite to win, with Ladbrokes giving the book 9/2 odds.
Literary Hub7 min read
A Century of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined the 1910s
Some books are flashes in the pan, read for entertainment and then left on a bus seat for the next lucky person to pick up and enjoy, forgotten by most after their season has passed. Others stick around, are read and re-read, are taught and discussed
Literary Hub7 min readTech
Susan Orlean: “Librarians Are Heroic.”
Libraries function in myriad ways. They’re public spaces, information repositories, and places you can go to break the copy machine by stuffing them full of broken crayons. They’re also living organisms—a body that is constantly morphing and shifting
Literary Hub4 min read
Michael Cunningham Falls in Love at the Alexander McQueen Retrospective
Like so many who’ve lived too long without love, when I fell, I fell hard. And, like most people who finally fall in love, I remember precisely where, and when. It was one of those shimmering gray days New York City produces in the late spring, brigh
Literary Hub7 min read
On God, Country, and Being Brown on the US-Mexico Border
ON MY “RETABLOS ” Memory is its own muse. Every time we recall a specific moment in our past, we remember it differently; we embellish upon it, we turn it into a story or a fable, something that will draw a straighter line between the person we were
Literary Hub9 min readPolitics
Who Is The Villain In My Adoption Story?
It is human nature to make sense of the world by creating stories. Where did we come from? Why are we here? For most, the fundamental questions of our own origins are already answered. I come from my mother and father, who came from their mother and
Literary Hub4 min read
On The Impossibility Of Locating The Line Between Fiction And Non
Raise your hand if you, too, might sometimes curse Madeleine de Scudéry, sitting preciously in her 1652 literary salon, blithely inventing the roman à clef and ensuring all future novelists will be forever suspected of masking autobiography with a sl
Literary Hub12 min readPolitics
How I Came to Interview Donald Trump About Tiger Woods
Near the end of the Marla Maples Era, I found myself on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, in the knick-knack crowded office of Donald Trump. He didn’t shake my hand because Donald Trump doesn’t shake hands. Instead, Trump repeated my name once we were i
Literary Hub13 min read
Passing for White: A Literary History
In Nella Larsen’s day, the theme of passing had been an obsession of American popular literature, of American culture and politics, since the mid-19th century. In most of the fiction by white men about passing, a black girl of tragic birth is compell
Literary Hub10 min read
Jen Doll on Being an Outsider, and (Finally) Becoming A Writer
Will Schwalbe: Hi, I’m Will Schwalbe, and this is But That’s Another Story. One of the great things a book can do is make us feel less like outsiders. No matter who we are or where we are, we can find ourselves reflected somewhere in a book. And just
Literary Hub9 min read
How to Write a Fellowship Essay When Surrounded By Chaos
It is our inward journey that leads us through time—forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do
Literary Hub10 min read
The Time I Bombed in Bosnia
I once gave a lecture in Doboj, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Like the names of the other cities in which I spoke on that tour—Tuzla, Mostar, Banja Luka, Sarajevo—Doboj was familiar to me because it had been in the news a dozen years before, during the Bosn
Literary Hub7 min read
On the Adventuresome Dane Who Drove Across North Africa in the 1930s
The art of translation requires an element of unpredictability. Although in my twenties I made my living translating poetry and novels from French and Italian into English, it never became a real job in the strictest sense of the word. The simple rea
Literary Hub8 min read
Lit Hub Recommends: Practical Magic, Aminatta Forna, Sartre, and more
The Naked Woman by Armonía Somers is the spooky story revived from 1950s Uruguay that you didn’t know you needed this season. A woman visits a sleepy village and drives its inhabitants mad. You can feel it in the prose. The sun doesn’t just set; it s
Literary Hub6 min read
With the Haruki Murakami Superfans at a Midnight Launch Party
The last time I attended a midnight book release, a small, blond, evil child grabbed the book everyone was waiting for, flipped to the last page, and shouted, “Snape killed Dumbledore!” At the launch party this past Monday for Haruki Murakami’s new n
Literary Hub10 min read
A Tough Crowd in Doboj
I once gave a lecture in Doboj, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Like the names of the other cities in which I spoke on that tour—Tuzla, Mostar, Banja Luka, Sarajevo—Doboj was familiar to me because it had been in the news a dozen years before, during the Bosn
Literary Hub1 min read
Here is That Leonard Cohen Poem About Kanye West
Leonard Cohen wrote this poem in March of 2015; it’s included in his recently released posthumous collection, The Flame. * KANYE WEST IS NOT PICASSO Kanye West is not Picasso I am Picasso Kanye West is not Edison I am Edison I am Tesla Jay-Z is
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