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A portrait in gripping storytelling - Jamaica Gleaner

A portrait in gripping storytelling - Jamaica Gleaner | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Jamaica Gleaner A portrait in gripping storytelling Jamaica GleanerWriters, one after another, present a literary canvas of a Kingston that is hardly comely. 

 

Kingston Noir is an eclectic and gritty melange of tales that sears the imagination, living up to its boiler room genre. Writers, one after another, present a literary canvas of a Kingston that is hardly comely. Yet, it pulsates and magnetises the reader. Sure, it is edgy, predictably unsettling - be it from the sweltering heat that Ian Thompson bemoans in A Grave Understanding, or, from the hooliganism of Soft Paw and bwoy-dem who terrorise residents in Kei Miller's The White Gyal and the Camera. Not that Lil Croc and his gang in Christopher Farley's crime thriller, 54-46 (That's My Number), are not equally disturbing. Interestingly, it is in this tale that the reader is mesmerised by the island's argot. "Wa a gwaan?" says one character, quickly followed by the response: "Im two ears hard," ... "A good mek 'im tengle up ... dat deh a fi uno!").

 

Noir delivers crisp snapshots of Kingston neighbourhoods that are gnawing realities of an existence that is void of justice and equanimity. Perennial social problems seep through every page, and are deftly addressed with bewitching rhyme and cadence.

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Caitlin Moran and the pitfalls of the essayist-turned-novelist - Salon

Caitlin Moran and the pitfalls of the essayist-turned-novelist - Salon | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Salon

Caitlin Moran and the pitfalls of the essayist-turned-novelist

 

And when those opinionated, essayistic bits of the novel come, the print almost seems to glow on the page. Here is Moran firing on all cylinders, writing about life and about herself and by extension you and me. Johanna, I don’t believe in for a minute except to the extent that she’s Caitlin Moran, and I have next to no interest in anything that happens to her that didn’t also happen to Caitlin Moran. A novelist, on the other hand, would make you forget that she even exists, so overpowering is the reality of characters.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Laura Miller on why Moran's nonfiction is better than her novel.

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Prairie fiction offers insights to early Midwestern settlers, said BCU professor - Sioux City Journal

Prairie fiction offers insights to early Midwestern settlers, said BCU professor - Sioux City Journal | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Prairie fiction offers insights to early Midwestern settlers, said BCU professor

Sioux City Journal

 

According to Tricia Currans-Sheehan, Briar Cliff University professor of English and writing, literature set in the Great Plains offers Midwesterners a sense of self.

 

Prairie fiction -- stories that depict the struggles of immigrant families settling in the Midwest in the years following the 1862 Homestead Act -- is sometimes overlooked, she said, because readers fear they will find the subject matter to be as dry as, well, the prairie.

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Crutcher reaches out to kids through literature - Gadsden Times

Crutcher reaches out to kids through literature
Gadsden Times

 

The characters in Chris Crutcher’s young adult novels aren’t real, but they have real-life experiences.

Crutcher says talking about his books with students gives them an opportunity to open up and share their lives, their stories and even their pain.

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Ian McEwan's bitter ex wife and why her story is even more emotionally fraught ... - Daily Mail

Ian McEwan's bitter ex wife and why her story is even more emotionally fraught ... - Daily Mail | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Daily Mail
Ian McEwan's bitter ex wife and why her story is even more emotionally fraught ...
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Book review: 'Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature,' by Robert Darnton - Washington Post

Book review: 'Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature,' by Robert Darnton - Washington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Book review: 'Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature,' by Robert Darnton

Washington Post

 

Though he is no fan of censorship, Darnton understands that it is often no simple matter: “To dismiss censorship as crude repression by ignorant bureaucrats is to get it wrong. Although it varied enormously, it usually was a complex process that required talent and training and that extended deep into the social order.” And: “The opponents often became friends. In the course of their negotiations, they were absorbed into a network of players and a system of relations that operated within the boundaries of official institutions. It was a human system, which mitigated the rigidity of censorship as the direct expression of reason of state.” In saying all this, Darnton urges us to see censorship as a deeply human process that can be terrible but can also be surprisingly benign. He is right, too, to worry that when governments are confronted by the reality of the Internet — even a government as ostensibly open and committed to freedom of speech as our own — they are more likely to operate in their own interests than in their citizens’. In the age of cyberspace, that is a scary prospect.

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Henry James and the Great YA Debate - The New Yorker

Henry James and the Great YA Debate - The New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The New Yorker
Henry James and the Great YA Debate
The New Yorker
But the nature of the rebuttals differed in telling ways. Some, like Laura Miller, ... Others admitted to disliking Green's novel but insisted that the larger Y.A.
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Teenage Jack Kerouac: in love with a goddess and dreaming of sex

Teenage Jack Kerouac: in love with a goddess and dreaming of sex | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A newly discovered cache of letters by the On the Road writer shows him drunk on romance and honing his literary skills
I shall worship her with quiet dignity.
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Literature’s finest brooding men: aloof and mysterious protagonists in fiction

Literature’s finest brooding men: aloof and mysterious protagonists in fiction | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

While the charming and funny male leads with a sparkle in their eye have their appeal, there’s nothing like a dark brooding hero.


It isn't enough for these sultry, elusive protagonists to pound their muscular hairy chests and lament. They need to have some substance.

 

Here are our personal Byronic best with gravitas - the men who take brooding to a whole new level…

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William Golding Flies classic holds true 60 years on - BBC News

William Golding Flies classic holds true 60 years on - BBC News | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
BBC News
William Golding Flies classic holds true 60 years on

 

It's 60 years this month since the publication of William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies. To mark the anniversary his family are giving his literary archive on loan to the University of Exeter - including the very different original version of his famous tale of boys fending for themselves on a tropical island.

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Hillsborough, NC: America's Little Literary Town - Wall Street Journal

Hillsborough, NC: America's Little Literary Town - Wall Street Journal | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Wall Street Journal
Hillsborough, NC: America's Little Literary Town

 

In fact, more than two dozen of their fellow writers live in Hillsborough, population 6,087, where government meetings are held in the "town barn," and the Wooden Nickel serves up fried green tomatoes. "Under the Tuscan Sun" author Frances Mayes lives in a 4,500-square-foot Federalist farm house here, and David Payne, author of the Southern saga "Back to Wando Passo," lives in a renovated former clubhouse for local businessmen in the town's historic district.

 

Some came for the slow pace of small-town life that authors say is conducive to writing. Others grew up in the area or have ties to one of the nearby universities—the University of North Carolina and Duke University are both within a 20-minute drive.

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Three novels explain why it is so hard to get justice for rape victims - Washington Post

Three novels explain why it is so hard to get justice for rape victims - Washington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Three novels explain why it is so hard to get justice for rape victims Washington Post

 

three extraordinary novels released in the past three years are more interested in the sort of uncertainties we hope we might be able to banish.

 

“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” the most recent novel from Haruki Murakami, “The Interestings,” by Meg Wolitzer and Teju Cole’s debut novel, “Open City,” all involve adult protagonists grappling with accusations of sexual assault from their youth. Each book has a slightly different arc. But each provides a powerful portrait of why people might refuse to seek out and accept the truth about a rape allegation.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Spoiler alert: This post discusses the plots of “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” “The Interestings,” and “Open City” in some detail.

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Florida Frontiers: Forgotten novel preceded 'The Yearling' - Florida Today

Florida Frontiers: Forgotten novel preceded 'The Yearling' - Florida Today | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Florida Frontiers: Forgotten novel preceded 'The Yearling'
Florida Today

 

One of the first Florida novels ever written remained unpublished for more than 150 years.

 

For nearly five decades, the hand-written manuscript was preserved but forgotten in an archive at Rollins College

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The Welcome Return of Los Angeles Plays Itself - Miami New Times

The Welcome Return of Los Angeles Plays Itself - Miami New Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Welcome Return of Los Angeles Plays Itself

Miami New Times

 

Perhaps no work of filmed criticism does this as impressively as Los Angeles Plays Itself, Thom Andersen's three-hour treatise on the history of his city's depiction on the silver screen — now recut and remastered for its tenth anniversary. Derived and expanded from a lecture he delivered in the late 1990s at the California Institute of the Arts, the film surveys no less than a century in cinematic representation, constructed from clips excerpted from more than 200 feature films. A veritably encyclopedic tract, it grapples with subsidiary subjects as diverse as the reverberations of the Watts uprising, fake movie phone numbers, and, in one of the more memorable passages, Hollywood's sustained ideological war against the reputation of modernist architecture.

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Another school year just started: welcome back to the book censorship wars. - Boing Boing

Another school year just started: welcome back to the book censorship wars. - Boing Boing | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Another school year just started: welcome back to the book censorship wars.

It happens whenever kids come home from school with new reading assignments: some parents look at what their kids are reading and don't like what they see. Joan E Bertin from the National Coalition Against Censorship knows why we observe Banned Books Week.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Celebrate Banned Books Week!

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Every Stephen King Novel Summarized in 140 Characters or Less

Every Stephen King Novel Summarized in 140 Characters or Less | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
One day, Max will have to explain to his grandchildren why he spent an entire Sunday writing this article. (RT @Renegade_Image: An unabridged Stephen King bibliography, now in tweetable format.
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The latest message for female writers dont think, just spill | Hadley Freeman

The latest message for female writers  dont think, just spill | Hadley Freeman | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Not That Kind of Girl is a reminder of the publishing obsession with women divulging their private lives

 

Dunham defends the rise of the female memoir in the introduction to her book, positing it as a triumph of feminism. But it is a thin line between the long overdue validation of women’s lives and telling women that the most interesting thing they have to offer, and that all they can be trusted to write about, is themselves.

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American pop culture fascinated with espionage - MiamiHerald.com

American pop culture fascinated with espionage - MiamiHerald.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
MiamiHerald.com

American pop culture fascinated with espionage

 

Spy stories have been around literally since the dawn of American culture. The first major American novel was James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy, published in 1821. (It dealt with espionage during the Revolutionary War, which is also the subject of one of the newest espionage stories, the AMC television series Turn, a tale of George Washington’s spy corps.)

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IRON MAIDEN: THE WORLD'S MOST LITERARY BAND - Baeble Music (blog)

IRON MAIDEN: THE WORLD'S MOST LITERARY BAND - Baeble Music (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Baeble Music (blog)

IRON MAIDEN: THE WORLD'S MOST LITERARY BAND

 

So it's time to get the record straight, by offering you a definitive list of the top 10 most literary songs of all time...and yes, they are all by the one and only Iron Maiden. 

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Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and a Case of Anxiety of Influence - The New Yorker

Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and a Case of Anxiety of Influence - The New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The New Yorker Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and a Case of Anxiety of Influence The New Yorker If there is a precedent in literature for such a thrilling, disorienting leap across time—coupled with the offhand revelation of a central character's...
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50 of the Greatest Characters in Literature

50 of the Greatest Characters in Literature | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

One of the things literature does better than almost any other medium is allow us to experience another person’s quality of mind, and sometimes even inhabit it. It follows, then, that every avid reader has a favorite literary character — whether they’re beloved for dastardly deeds, tough-girl antics, sex appeal, or a high snark quotient — and that there are many impossibly good ones out there. After the jump, you’ll find 50 of the best. To be clear: a great character isn’t always one you like (just ask Claire Messud), but one that is somehow extraordinary, or evokes some kind of delicious story-feeling in the reader.

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Donald Antrim and the Art of Anxiety - New York Times

Donald Antrim and the Art of Anxiety - New York Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New York Times

Donald Antrim and the Art of Anxiety

 

Of the qualities that set Antrim apart from the group of writers he’s often casually lumped in with or excluded from — the Eugenides-­Franzen-Lethem-Means-Saunders-Wallace cluster of cerebral, white-male, Northern fiction makers born around 1960 — it may be this predilection for characters “not necessarily redeemed” that offers the neatest distinction. It’s not that those other writers don’t ever do evil characters or antiheroes or that they all write tidy, hopeful plots. It’s not even that Antrim’s­ characters are beyond the pale in their badness, in a Cormac McCarthy manner — they aren’t psychopathic (except insofar as being human may involve being a little bit psychopathic). It’s more the case that Antrim’s fictional universe is different. It doesn’t bend toward justice, not even the kind that knows there is none but sort of hopes art can provide absolution. His universe bends — it is defi­nitely bent — but always toward greater absurdity (in both funny and frightening guises).

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The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History - New York Magazine

The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History - New York Magazine | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New York Magazine

The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History

 

sci-fi history actually has featured ahead-of-its-time, female-identifying authors and creators who have challenged conventional notions of race, gender, and sexuality head-on for centuries. Their contributions are so essential (some are by far the most out-there in the canon) that without them, the genre could not possibly have grown into the blockbuster behemoth it is today. Like many sci-fi creators, this radical group’s explorations weren’t limited to faroff planets; they dove into the sticky, difficult, often ugly realities of their own worlds, many of which are still with us today. They tackled misogyny, homophobia, racism, and the dangers of conventional gender roles — concepts often foreign to the world they inhabited. While their efforts were not always celebrated in the mainstream, they opened the possibility of a better future and pushed the conversation forward.

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The Profits of Dreaming: On Fiction and Sleep - The Millions

The Profits of Dreaming: On Fiction and Sleep - The Millions | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Millions
The Profits of Dreaming: On Fiction and Sleep

 

But the fact remains: no matter how many studies link fiction to empathy or dreaming to memory consolidation, we still don’t know conclusively what fiction or dreaming do for us, and perhaps we never will. It’s the most painful thorn in our side, this not-knowing, the eternal bane of human existence: we like to marvel at mystery, but we also like to contain it. Perhaps our limited tolerance for mystery has made us similarly resistant to the same in-between qualities in ourselves: irrationality, indecision, eccentricity. Yet peculiarity is as inherent to the human animal as muscle or bone. The mind is a beast in itself: like the body, it needs time and space to roam. In cordoning it off, we run the risk of alienating ourselves from the miraculous absurdity of life itself. We forget how to wonder, to drift. We forget that most questions in this world—the ones that really matter—are impossible to answer completely.

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Chevillard Probes Dichotomy between 'The Author and Me' - Harvard Crimson

Chevillard Probes Dichotomy between 'The Author and Me' - Harvard Crimson | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Chevillard Probes Dichotomy between 'The Author and Me'

Harvard Crimson

 

New Historicism, with its niggling concern for ever-more minute details of authors’ lives and these details’ effects, has reigned as a preeminent critical school for some 30 years, and, as its proponents delve into what seem to be increasingly unsure waters—did the reading of Lucretius really start the Renaissance, after all?—it seems that the time is ripe for a reexamination of the question. It is this question that Éric Chevillard examines in his new novel, “The Author and Me,” translated into fine workmanlike English by Jordan Stump. Purportedly setting out to prove the independence of the voices of narrator and character from their originator, he presents a haunting argument for the inescapability of the author.

 

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The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman - Smithsonian

The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman
Smithsonian

 

Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.

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