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A Master of Many Universes - New York Times

A Master of Many Universes - New York Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New York Times
A Master of Many Universes

 

In the past decade, Mr. Mitchell has evolved from being a cult author with a small but rabid fan base to a major literary figure whose work has been compared to that of Nabokov, Pynchon and Dostoyevsky. Five of his six novels have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, including his latest, “The Bone Clocks.” His genre-defying 2004 novel, “Cloud Atlas,” sold a million copies in North America and was adapted into a feature film. Academics and superfans pore over his works with the intensity of Talmudic scholars, and gather at David Mitchell conferences that feature panel discussions on subjects like “Narratology and the Mitchell Multiverse.”t cast their previous literary incarnations in a strange new light.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Mitchell's new novel, "The Bone Clocks," will be published in the U.S. on September 2.

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The Literature of Fear: 12 High-Quality Horror Books for Sleepless Nights - KQED

The Literature of Fear: 12 High-Quality Horror Books for Sleepless Nights - KQED | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A visit to the book store might have you thinking that the horror genre is all vampires and serial killers. For those who enjoy the literature of fear, with a touch of the fantastic, there are still lots of great writers out there.
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Authors pick their favourite crime novels - Toronto Star

Authors pick their favourite crime novels - Toronto Star | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Writers appearing at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors this month reveal their favourite crime reads.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Would it surprise you to learn that I'm a big fan of mystery fiction?

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Six Essential British Murder Mysteries - Huffington Post

Six Essential British Murder Mysteries - Huffington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

From around the year 1800 to the present day, the British have taken an unhealthy interest in murder. Over two centuries, this fascination has appeared in journalism, theatre, tourism... and particularly, in the whole body of detective fiction. Its development went hand-in-hand with what we might call 'civilization' -- gas-lighting, a police force, industrialization, life in the city -- everything that allowed people to feel safe from nature and its dangers. If you'd been an eighteenth-century Briton, you'd probably have lived in a village, and your greatest fears would have been dying of disease or famine. In the nineteenth century, it's likely that you'd have moved into a town. Life there might have been cleaner and more convenient, but there was a drawback: you'd no longer know your neighbours. And so, in the cities, the Victorians began to have the luxury -- for a 'luxury' it is -- of obsessing about something as inherently unlikely as getting murdered. This new fear, therefore, went along with paranoia, and anxiety, and neurosis, and all the other things we 'enjoy' about modern life. 

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Murder mysteries from the 1820s to 1935.

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Common People review family history as a new genre of non-fiction

Common People review  family history as a new genre of non-fiction | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Alison Light’s evocatively written Common People: The History of an English Family may well inaugurate a new genre of non-fiction: public family history. Today the internet and regional record offices around the country are buzzing with people tracing their genealogies, looking up long-dead ancestors. The vast majority of this work is kept in the family or posted online for millions of us to ignore. Light offers another path: family history not as a catalogue of names, dates, occupations and events, but as a generational history of interconnected people, where the historian’s task is to get a sense of how a life was made and what it felt like to make it that way. This isn’t history from below so much as history from inside, to use the author’s neat phrasing.

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The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State

The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Several of these books number among the usual suspects of lists of this kind, but many remain anything but widely known. Almost all are fiction and most are novels; some were written for children, but just about every genre is represented. All are literary in voice and spirit; every last one will let you understand a time and place in a more profound way than you maybe thought possible.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

What's your state's representative book? And do you agree with that selection?

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Amazon's Elite Reviewing Club Sabotaged My Book - The New Republic

Amazon's Elite Reviewing Club Sabotaged My Book - The New Republic | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
They get free books, and in return they...trash them?

 

’ll bet you don’t know what the Amazon “Vine Community” is. I didn’t. I was never even aware of it until my memoir was published earlier this year. Books offered on Amazon for pre-order have a notation: “This book is not eligible for review until publication date.” However, in the run-up to my release date there were already five reviews posted—and they all were rotten; I mean inaccurate, insulting, and demonstrably written by dim bulbs. I was absolutely stunned. Who were these people, and why were they allowed to comment on a book before actual purchasers, when there was a clear prohibition.

 

Well, they were “Vine Voices” I found out. Amazon explains: “Amazon Vine invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions.”

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Kind of scary, actually

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The best way for students to become writers - Washington Post (blog)

The best way for students to become writers - Washington Post (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Now, as a writer myself, I still believe that the best way for students to become writers is by reading as much good writing as possible and internalizing the various structures and techniques they encounter. For extras, the habit of reading will also increase their vocabulary, improve their spelling, and help them grasp the fact that many of the conventions of written language are different from those of spoken language.

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Bomb Squad Literary Criticism - Social Matter

Not many professors of literature lead what you would consider a glamorous life. Except for the few who get to teach whatever courses they want to, it’s pretty repetitive.

 

This is what I would call bomb squad literary criticism. Professors go into these dangerous scenarios, like reading Hemingway, and make them safe again for students. They cordon off the badthink and go to work. Their classes (in their minds, at least) are theatrical displays of the savviness with which they cut the blue wire, a sort of The Hurt Locker meets Dead Poets Society. And I can tell you, as much as it pains me to do so, that many students love it. After all, in time they’ll get to join the bomb squad, too, and disarm these textual IEDs. And there’s a certain morbid satisfaction in feeling yourself morally superior to the greats of the Western canon. So profs can bask in the approval and share in that satisfaction and feel great about themselves. You can guess, however, what this all tends to do to any love of literature that a student might have had.

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Richard Flanagan: 'I lit the barbie with old drafts' - The Guardian

Richard Flanagan: 'I lit the barbie with old drafts' - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Charlotte Higgins: The Man Booker prize winner on how he wrote The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the inspiration for the love story in it – and the human need for hope
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Will We Ever Come First? 'Vampire Academy' and Female (Mis)Representation - PopMatters

Will We Ever Come First? 'Vampire Academy' and Female (Mis)Representation - PopMatters | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Though a surface reading of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy suggests compelling depiction of women, underneath lies ages-old patriarchal myths.

 

I would venture a guess that to some extent this fascination comes from the liberty the vampire allows: a fantastical character provides an otherwise impossible outsider’s view into the human condition. Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles (1976—) were among the pioneers of this “new vampire”, and, more interestingly, her novels are told from the perspective of vampires themselves, allowing us—the humans—to be the “other”. She creates a world that has since become familiar in many other fantasy authors’ works: a parallel, fantastical society, undetected by but a select few humans.

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Read whatever the hell you want: why we need a new way of talking about ... - New Statesman

Read whatever the hell you want: why we need a new way of talking about ... - New Statesman | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Should adults be reading books supposedly aimed at children and teenagers? According to the literary establishment in 2014, this is a question fraught with difficulty. But is it really as hard as all that?
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A necessarily long but informative summary of another of those literary questions that just won't go away

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Creepiest literary haunts around the US - Fox News

Creepiest literary haunts around the US - Fox News | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Horror movies get all the Halloween publicity, but nothing makes the imagination run wild like a scary book. Anyone who’s read The Shining, Dracula or The Exorcist will vouch for these tales’ long-lasting and frightening effects.

 

From their homes to their graves to their favorite hangouts, there are fearsome reminders around the country of some of our literary greats. Whether you’re looking for a fright or a history lesson, these spots offer you a bit of both.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Please note: Edgar ALLAN Poe

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11 Lessons We've Learned From Young Heroines in Literature

11 Lessons We've Learned From Young Heroines in Literature | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Many of the classic books from our school days, including To Kill a Mockingbird and A Wrinkle in Time, featured heroic young girls who inspired us growing up.

 

Many of the classic books from our school days, including To Kill a Mockingbird and A Wrinkle in Time, featured heroic young girls who inspired us growing up. Some of our favorite "kids'" books — that are just as relevant and enjoyable to read today — feature strong, multidimensional heroines who persevered despite being overlooked because of their size, age, and sex. These adventurous young women hold a special place in our hearts and minds, so let's take a look at some of the most inspiring 16-and-under heroines in literature.

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UK Court Blocks Author From Publishing A Book About His Own Sexual Abuse ... - Techdirt

There's no doubt that even closely related or allied countries treat the issue of free speech quite differently. Perhaps our most natural European cultural equivalent, Britain, has laws that I often find either confusing or silly, with a particular eye towards their long-panned libel laws. But even correcting for cultural differences, I'm having a real hard time figuring out how a UK court can issue an injunction barring the publishing of an author's recounting of his own personal history with sexual abuse at his ex-wife's request. You'll have to forgive the vagueness here, because there are simply no names being discussed on the matter due to the ongoing litigation.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A very odd story from the U.K.

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Georges Perec Tells You How To Organize Your Bookshelf - Huffington Post

Georges Perec Tells You How To Organize Your Bookshelf - Huffington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Alphabetically, chronologically or autobiographically. Such are the methods of organization we select from when sorting our beloved collections of movies, records or books.
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

What type of sorter are you? I've recently gone with "by genre, alphabetically by author within each genre."

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The Prophetic Nature of Fiction: Richard Wright, John Steinbeck, and the Civil Rights Movement

The Prophetic Nature of Fiction: Richard Wright, John Steinbeck, and the Civil Rights Movement | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Literature has always served as a moral, social and political laboratory for many writers and often the issues that have plagued various societies appear in fiction before they ever appear in the public, political or physical world.  When one examines any debate that has taken place in the political sphere, one can always find literature that dealt with the same issues well before its political incarnation.  In examining the peak of the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s, within the context of Richard Wright’s Native Son and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, it becomes clear that these two novels served as literary laboratories for the civil rights issues and class struggles that America would grapple with throughout the middle of the 20th century.  . . .  When examining the comparing the contents of both Native Son and The Grapes of Wrath with the political writings and events of the American civil rights movement, it becomes clear that the writings of both Wright and Steinbeck served as a literary laboratory where the issues and events of the civil rights movement were foreshadowed and prophesized with sometimes tragic accuracy.

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'Where We Are Now' a powerful collection of stories - The Missoulian

'Where We Are Now' a powerful collection of stories - The Missoulian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Carolyn Osborn’s new book left me wondering whether we need a new category for the contemporary fiction she’s writing.

 

This blurring of the ever-thinning line between novels and short-story collections brought to mind three recent titles: “Acts of God” by Ellen Gilchrist (Algonquin, $23.95) delivers 10 stories on a theme: surviving incontrovertible reminders of mortality, such as a hurricane, flood or tornado. Except for the theme, there is little overlap between the stories. Of the nine tales in Margaret Atwood’s “Stone Mattress” (Nan A. Talese, $25.95), three unravel the entanglements of a group of aging writers and artists. Blurring the lines almost completely in 2010, Publishers Weekly added up the shifting narrators in Jennifer Egan’s prizewinning “A Visit From the Goon Squad” and declared it a powerful novel of interconnected lives, while some reviewers labeled it a collection of linked short stories.

 

Do we need a new category for hybrid books? Let’s call them shortovels, perhaps. Or novestories?

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Why is a label so important?

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Five Stars: A Journey Through 185 Amazon Reviews Written by Anne Rice - Vulture

Five Stars: A Journey Through 185 Amazon Reviews Written by Anne Rice - Vulture | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Anne Rice loves reviewing things on Amazon.

 

Because Anne’s real charm is that, after all these years and so many best-sellers, she still actually cares about and communicates with her fans — and, as her Amazon.com reviews show, she herself is an unapologetic fan of many many things. Though her novels are dark and often brooding, Anne Rice’s Amazon reviews reveal a woman who is just like me, reading to discover and enjoying herself wholeheartedly along the way. The internet is better for it.

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NYRblog : Roving thoughts and provocations - The New York Review of Books (blog)

NYRblog : Roving thoughts and provocations - The New York Review of Books (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
It has long been a commonplace that fiction provides a way to break taboos and talk about potentially embarrassing experiences. But what happens if the main obstacles to free and direct expression fall away?

 

So has fiction now outlived one of its sustaining purposes? That is the question Lodge, Dyer, Coetzee, Knausgaard, and many other writers are posing (one thinks in particular of David Shields’s madly provocative Reality Hunger). It could be we are moving towards a period where, as the writer “gets older”—as Lodge has it, carefully avoiding the positive connotation of “matures” or the negative of “ages”—he or she finds it increasingly irrelevant to embark on another long work of fiction that elaborately reformulates conflicts and concerns that the reader anyway assumes are autobiographical. Far more interesting and exciting to confront the whole conundrum of living and telling head on, in the very different world we find ourselves in now, where more or less anything can be told without shame. Whether this makes for better books or simply different books is a question writers and readers will decide for themselves.

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Author Azar Nafisi returns with spirited defense of American literature - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Author Azar Nafisi returns with spirited defense of American literature - Santa Cruz Sentinel | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
In her memorable 2003 best-selling memoir "Reading Lolita in Tehran," Iranian-born college professor Azar Nafisi told a thrilling tale of how she used Western literature as a tool to fight against the oppression of the Iranian theocracy in the...

 

In a blend of memoir and polemic sure to arouse the inner English prof in most readers, Nafisi focuses on three novels – one, which is at the top of most lists of Greatest American Novels, Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"; and two that are still part of the canon, though overlooked and largely forgotten in today's world, "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis, and "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers. With each book, she illustrates how the imagination is the key to personal and spiritual freedom.

 

But she introduces her book with a focus on an American story that might trump them all in metaphorical resonance, L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

On Nafisi's new book "The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books" (Viking)

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David Fincher: The New Master of Adaptation? - The Bottom Line

David Fincher: The New Master of Adaptation? - The Bottom Line | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

It’s become a familiar sequence of events at the movies: first, we hurriedly enter the theater, feeling a rush of anticipation of seeing one of our favorite books brought to life. Then, as the movie unfolds, the first alteration of a great scene gives us an unpleasant jolt, and the inconsistencies begin to snowball. By the time the credits are rolling, we feel as though the film rushed through our cherished story, muted characters we held dear, and distorted a magnificent work. For fans of a novel being produced for the big screen, it often feels as though film adaptations are doomed to disappoint. But, thankfully, we have David Fincher.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

On the director of current megabit film GONE GIRL

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How Before I Go to Sleep author SJ Watson nailed the bestseller and the big ... - Sydney Morning Herald

How Before I Go to Sleep author SJ Watson nailed the bestseller and the big ... - Sydney Morning Herald | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
With his novel now a major film starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, former health worker S.J. Watson reflects on his journey from writing course to breakout success.
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SE Hinton and the YA Debate - The New Yorker

SE Hinton and the YA Debate - The New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
When S. E. Hinton published her début novel, “The Outsiders,” in 1967, there was no young-adult market. Since then, Y.A. has garnered a huge following.
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No Time for Lies - The New Yorker

No Time for Lies - The New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
James Wood on the Australian writer who withdrew her novel “In Certain Circles” from publication, in 1971. It’s now available, and it’s brilliant.

 

But “In Certain Circles” also extends and deepens several of her persistent concerns: how easily we submit to cruelty and coercion; the relations between men and women in a frankly misogynist era; the moral imperative to tell the truth, to shatter the china niceties that sustain bourgeois domestic life. The book belongs with her best work, with “The Watch Tower” and “The Long Prospect.”

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Top dogs: 10 literary canines

Top dogs: 10 literary canines | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
From Lord Byron's rabies-ridden Newfoundland to the Hardys' aggressive terrier, Mikita Brottman on her favourite bookish hounds
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

What, no mention of the fictional Cujo?

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