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The Cherokee trail that led to a killing: David Vann on his family history - The Independent

The Independent
The Cherokee trail that led to a killing: David Vann on his family history

 

Discovering his Cherokee heritage has taught Vann that “we’re shaped by legacies beyond our experience” and his corpse-strewn fiction consistently examines how the living reckon with what the dead leave behind. He describes his acclaimed story collection, Legend of a Suicide (2009), as “psychological revenge” on his father, who killed himself when Vann was 13. His previous novels, Dirt (2012) and Caribou Island (2011), also depict characters who are trying to come to terms with trauma.

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Ammonites & Leaping Fish: A Life in Time by Penelope Lively – review

Ammonites & Leaping Fish: A Life in Time by Penelope Lively – review | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Penelope Lively charts the story of her life via her six most treasured possessions in this powerful memoir

 

It's hard to know how to describe Penelope Lively's new book. At first, I thought she'd joined Diana Athill, Jane Miller and others in sending us a helpful and inquiring dispatch from the realms of old age (Lively is 80, with the result, she tells us, that people in their 60s seem not young exactly, but "nicely mature"). It turns out, though, that Ammonites & Leaping Fish is not precisely this kind of thing. Aches and pains are kept to a minimum; so, too, is the confusing behaviour of the young; death is mentioned hardly at all. The result is less of a memoir than a ledger on which its author has noted some of the objects and memories that, in this final stage of life, continue to tether her to the world that made her.

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Carl Jung Circle: Circus of Dreams - BusinessWorld Online Edition

Carl Jung Circle: Circus of Dreams - BusinessWorld Online Edition | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Carl Jung Circle: Circus of Dreams

BusinessWorld Online Edition

 

The Carl Jung Circle Center (CJCC) is an organization of professionals -- psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, development workers, artists, advertising and business executives, and educators who advocate the analytical psychology of Carl Jung. It will present its fourth exhibition, an art fair, in November.

    Dr. Dido Gustilo Villasor, CJCC chair remarked, “[The art fair] Circus of Dreams is the third time that artist using different mediums are coming together to express unique images and symbol of the self.”
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

This exhibition is taking place in the Philippenes. Wouldn't it be great if there were similar organizations and exhibitions in other places, too?

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Scott Turow's 'Identical' has Greek myth proportions - Los Angeles Times

Scott Turow's 'Identical' has Greek myth proportions - Los Angeles Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Scott Turow's 'Identical' has Greek myth proportions
Los Angeles Times

 

Over the course of nine novels, Scott Turow's Kindle County has become one the best-known settings in American literature. While fictional locations are not uncommon in the crime genre — the city of Santa Teresa in Ross Macdonald's and, later, Sue Grafton's mysteries comes most readily to mind — Turow's character-driven legal thrillers are more aligned with the artistic vision of William Faulkner, whose novels and short stories are set in Yoknapatawpha County, Miss., assumed the weight of myth in telling the intertwined stories of its characters, both high and low.

 

Greek myth and ugly truths are entwined throughout Scott Turow's 10th novel, "Identical."

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A brief history of young adult literature - CNN

A brief history of young adult literature - CNN | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A brief history of young adult literature
CNN

 

Wizards, vampires and dystopian future worlds didn't always dominate the genre, which hit its last peak of popularity in the 1970s with the success of controversial novels by the likes of Judy Blume. In the years between, young adult has managed to capture the singular passions of the teen audience over a spectrum of subgenres.

 

Now, as the book industry enjoys a second "golden age of young adult fiction," according to expert Michael Cart, it bears asking why young adult fiction has become so successful. The proof just may be in the timeline.

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'Lighthouse Island' projects a bleak future for our piece of the planet - Bellingham Herald

'Lighthouse Island' projects a bleak future for our piece of the planet - Bellingham Herald | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
'Lighthouse Island' projects a bleak future for our piece of the planet Bellingham Herald

 

To Jiles, storytelling seems to lie at the core of human connection. Characters find hope in fables, comfort in the tales of daring heroes and noble quests broadcast by an underground radio station. Nadia and James recite poetry together on a cold roof and their passion ignites in the dark.

 

Though post-modern authors have attempted to dismantle romantic notions of narrative, "Lighthouse Island" makes a bewitching case for their preservation. In a parched, austere world, stories are all we have to sate us.


Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/10/16/3261808/lighthouse-island-projects-a-bleak.html#storylink=cpy
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Review of dystopian novel "Lighthouse Island" by Paulette Jiles; William Morrow (392 pages, $26.99)


Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/10/16/3261808/lighthouse-island-projects-a-bleak.html#storylink=cpy
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George Bernard Shaw's Wry Answers to a Journalist's Questionnaire About God - Slate Magazine (blog)

George Bernard Shaw's Wry Answers to a Journalist's Questionnaire About God - Slate Magazine (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Slate Magazine (blog)

George Bernard Shaw's Wry Answers to a Journalist's Questionnaire About God

 

As this document shows, Shaw, who early on self-identified as an atheist (and always questioned organized religion), was in his later years putting much thought into the possible existence of the divine.

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3Q: Fiction's role in emotional development - Phys.Org

3Q: Fiction's role in emotional development - Phys.Org | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
3Q: Fiction's role in emotional development

Phys.Org

 

By literary identification, I mean the emotional bonds among readers, characters, and authors that can form from reading certain kinds of novels, particularly what is known as the Bildungsroman,...

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

This Web page won't let me edit what it chooses to quote, so here's the rest of the relevant definition:

 

By literary identification, I mean the emotional bonds among readers, characters, and authors that can form from reading certain kinds of novels, particularly what is known as the Bildungsroman, or novel about a character's growth and development. In a Bildungsroman such as Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre or, to give a more recent example from my book, Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, readers are drawn by those bonds to lend our own emotions to a character's fictional situation—searching for love in a loveless environment (in Jane Eyre) or searching for justice in an unjust environment (in Nervous Conditions). Not all of the characters with whom we identify will be examples of empathy; Jane Eyre, for one, is pretty self-centered. But repeated experiences of literary identification—of putting oneself in another's shoes, encountering new moral quandaries, societal demands, or individual desires almost as if they were one's own—may well make readers more disposed to take more seriously other peoples' point of view. And that is the root of empathy.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-3q-fiction-role-emotional.html#jCp

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Netflix Orders 13 Episodes of Original Series from 'Damages' Creators - TVbytheNumbers

Netflix Orders 13 Episodes of Original Series from 'Damages' Creators
TVbytheNumbers

 

Netflix has ordered a new psychological thriller series from “Damages” creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler ("KZK")  that centers on a family of adult siblings whose secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep brother returns home. The 13-episode first season, from Sony Pictures Television, will premiere exclusively for Netflix members to watch instantly in all Netflix territories.

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Nurse's notes: Condition mimics a broken heart - The Missoulian

Nurse's notes: Condition mimics a broken heart
The Missoulian

 

Can you die of a broken heart? It can certainly feel that way when you have experienced an intense grief or loss. Stress-induced cardiomyopathy, also called “broken-heart syndrome” or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a real and increasingly diagnosed condition.

 

First described in Japan in 1990, SCM is a transient stunning of the cardiac muscle that occurs in people who have been exposed to some kind of significant emotional or physical stress. The term “takotsubo” is taken from the Japanese name for octopus trap, which has a shape similar to the heart muscle found in persons with SCM.

 

Although TCM was referred to in the early 1990s in Japan, the idea of a stress-induced disorder has been in the literature for decades. In 1942, Walter B. Cannon wrote an intriguing article detailing numerous accounts of so-called “voodoo” deaths. The cases occurred among different aboriginal tribes throughout the world. Cannon suggested “intense fear could so over-activate the sympathetic nervous system that death ensued.”

 

In 1971, Engel reported 170 cases of sudden death associated with psychological stress.

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Author Joyce Maynard prepares for a new chapter in life with 'After Her' - Sacramento Bee

Author Joyce Maynard prepares for a new chapter in life with 'After Her' - Sacramento Bee | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Author Joyce Maynard prepares for a new chapter in life with 'After Her'

Sacramento Bee

 

Over her career, Maynard has been a journalist for The New York Times, a TV commentator, a nationally syndicated columnist, a writing coach, a college teacher and a familiar name in national magazines. But perhaps she is best known for her intimate memoirs, in which she painfully recounts her live-in affair with “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger.

 

Maynard is quick with a laugh and an anecdote, thrives on drama, is startlingly frank and doesn’t back off from her opinions. Yet at the center of that hurricane is a more fragile persona, one that has had a lifelong need for love and attention.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/15/5820989/author-joyce-maynard-prepares.html#storylink=cpy
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Norman Mailer Biography Reveals His First Love And Thoughts On Pearl Harbor - Huffington Post

Norman Mailer Biography Reveals His First Love And Thoughts On Pearl Harbor - Huffington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Norman Mailer Biography Reveals His First Love And Thoughts On Pearl Harbor
Huffington Post

 

The following is an excerpt from "Norman Mailer: A Double Life" by J. Michael Lennon [Simon & Schuster, $40.00]

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Tóibín's Booker-listed novel throws down a gauntlet to our method of reasoning - Irish Times

Tóibín's Booker-listed novel throws down a gauntlet to our method of reasoning - Irish Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Tóibín's Booker-listed novel throws down a gauntlet to our method of reasoning
Irish Times

 

I believe it important that Colm Tóibín wins the Man Booker Prize next Wednesday for his novella The Testament of Mary. I don’t just mean “important for Colm Tóibín”, although he certainly deserves it, having featured as Booker bridesmaid several times. I don’t mean “important for Irish literature”, being unsure there is such a thing any more. I mean important for Ireland and Irish culture, because if it wins, we may be unable to continue ignoring, as we have done, what the book demands we address.

. . .

This is what makes The Testament of Mary so bracingly real. It is, in effect, an anti-Gospel, treating of a story most of us have grown up with in a way that might be disturbing, shocking, even scandalous. I find myself flirting with the word “blasphemous”, but with the sole intention of attracting attention to the gravity of the book for Irish culture and civilisation.

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Why All the Fuss About Proust? - Wall Street Journal

Why All the Fuss About Proust? - Wall Street Journal | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Why All the Fuss About Proust?
Wall Street Journal

 

Proust is interested in minutiae because life, as he sees it, is seldom ever about things, but about our impression of things, not about facts, but about the interpretation of facts, not about one particular feeling but about a confluence of conflicting feelings. Everything is elusive in Proust, because nothing is ever certain. He isn't interested in characters the way Tolstoy and Dickens are interested in characters; he is interested in the vivisection of identity, in people who turn out to be everything they claim they are not, in relationships that are always inscrutably opaque, in situations that conceal an underside that ends up flattering neither the betrayer nor the betrayed. It is Proust's implacable honesty, his reluctance to cut corners or to articulate what might have been good enough or credible enough in any other writer that make him the introspective genius he is.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

A look at the importance of Proust, in anticipation of next month's 100th anniversary of the publication of "Swann's Way," the first volume of Proust's six-volume masterpiece "In Search of Lost Time"

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Where Alice Munro found her stories - Toronto Star

Where Alice Munro found her stories - Toronto Star | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Where Alice Munro found her stories
Toronto Star

 

Another woman recalled her mother-in-law saying, after reading Lives of Girls and Women, “Alice Munro should be ashamed of herself,” because the people in her stories seemed so vividly recognizable — and often didn’t fare well in Munro’s fictionalized version.

 

Such is the fate of writers like Munro, keen observers who write about what they know best — their own hometowns and the people in them. The local people are delighted that one of their own has put the town on the world’s literary map. But there can also be a darker undercurrent of resentment and outright hostility.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

An interesting take on the relationship between life and fiction

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Exploring the nature of storytelling, reality - The Jersey Journal - NJ.com

Exploring the nature of storytelling, reality
The Jersey Journal - NJ.com

 

For those who do not know, “The Unwritten” is about Tommy Taylor, son of author Wilson Taylor, creator of the wildly popular “Tommy Taylor and…” series of books. At the beginning of the series, Tommy has very little in his life and survives mainly by banking on the existence of his fictional counterpart within the “Tommy Taylor” books. The “Unwritten” begins with high aspirations, reaching into the true magic of fiction and imagination. It is clear after the first issue that the series will explore the murky borderlands between reality and fiction, and the relationship between all those who partake in the ancient relationship of storyteller, story and audience.

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The Evolution Of Dystopian Literature In 9 Books - Huffington Post

The Evolution Of Dystopian Literature In 9 Books - Huffington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Huffington Post

The Evolution Of Dystopian Literature In 9 Books

 

The meaning of the word dystopia has changed since British MP John Stuart Mill first used it in 1868. Mill - who was also the first person in the history of Parliament, believe it or not, to advocate suffrage for women - coined the term to criticize the government's policy in Ireland: "It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or caco-topians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favor is too bad to be practicable." Nowadays, we associate the word with any work of fiction that depicts a "bad place," typically set in the near future. Here's my roundup of books that help track the evolution of the "bad place" in literature, from Tudor times to 2013.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

An interesting list. I'm sure we can all think of others we'd add, but this limited list gets the job done quite well.

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The Man Who Forgot Everything - New Yorker (blog)

The Man Who Forgot Everything - New Yorker (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
New Yorker (blog)

The Man Who Forgot Everything

 

There isn’t a lot that modern medicine can do for amnesiacs. If cerebral bleeding or clots are involved, these may be treated, and occupational and cognitive therapy can help in some cases. Usually, either the condition goes away or amnesiacs learn to live with it as best they can—unless the notion of learning is itself compromised, along with what it means to have a life. Then, a few select amnesiacs disappear from systems of medical treatment and reappear as star players in neuroscience and cognitive psychology.

* * *

No star ever shone more brightly in these areas than Henry Gustave Molaison, a patient who, for more than half a century, until his death, in 2008, was known only as H.M., and who is now the subject of a book, “Permanent Present Tense” (Basic), by Suzanne Corkin, the neuroscientist most intimately involved in his case.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Amnesia is a standard literary and cinematic trope. Here's a review of a book about the real thing.

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'Male writers get asked what they think, women what they feel' - The Guardian

'Male writers get asked what they think, women what they feel' - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian

'Male writers get asked what they think, women what they feel'

 

The 2013 Man Booker-prize winner on the unfair treatment of female writers and why her book The Luminaries riled male critics of a certain age

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5 questions with new James Bond author William Boyd - CNN

5 questions with new James Bond author William Boyd
CNN

 

Immortalized on the big screen and in Ian Fleming's 14 James Bond books, practically everyone knows the British superspy and his drink of choice. But this drink -- this Bond -- was written not by Fleming, but by author and screenwriter William Boyd. He was asked by Fleming's estate to write a new Bond novel; "Solo" hit shelves this month.

In "Solo," Boyd took a retro approach, choosing to set his story in 1969 at the height of the Cold War. While there are plenty of cocktails, fast cars and alluring women, Boyd says he wanted to take Bond back to his roots. In Boyd's version of Bond, there are no gadgets, no gimmickry, no flying cars and no villain with dreams of world domination.

. . .
I began to wonder why this should be and started to investigate Fleming's personality and his particular nature, which I think in some ways is very English.

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Turning on readers to the city anew: An interview with Susan Larson - NolaVie

Turning on readers to the city anew: An interview with Susan Larson - NolaVie | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
NolaVie

Turning on readers to the city anew: An interview with Susan Larson

 

Susan Larson has established herself as the most visible individual guide to literary New Orleans. A new edition of her compendium, The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans, has just been released, offering updates to its takes on New Orleans literary history, its resource lists, reading lists, and writer recommendations. It’s a guide for both local bibliophiles and the visiting tourist who may have an inkling that there’s more to New Orleans’ literary history than a Tennessee Williams play.

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Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race - The Southeast Review Online

Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race - The Southeast Review Online | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Southeast Review Online

Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race

 

Over the last few decades, literary critics have struggled to interpret Eudora Welty’s treatment of race in her collected works and, for the most part, speculate that she was either blind or ambivalent to racism during her lifetime. Harriet Pollack’s Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race is a cogent collection of essays that strives to counter previous approaches to Welty scholarship by elucidating her attitude concerning racial issues in both her literature and photography. The authors conclude that, contrary to past scholarship, Welty was indeed concerned with issues of race and that much of her work aims to make the color line visible to her audience. Furthermore, they suggest Welty’s awareness of her own whiteness acts as a focal point for her perceptions of race in America. Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race makes a strong contribution to Welty scholarship and provides a number of invigorating readings that challenge and amend previous assumptions concerning race in Welty’s body of work.

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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming - The Guardian

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
The Guardian

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

 

It's important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members' interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

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Is 'Homeland' Turning Into 'Breaking Bad?' - The New Republic

Is 'Homeland' Turning Into 'Breaking Bad?' - The New Republic | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Is 'Homeland' Turning Into 'Breaking Bad?

 

In their conversation about Episode 3 of Homeland, New Republic Senior Editor Isaac Chotiner and former CIA man Robert Baer discuss the way the Agency exerts psychological control over its agents, and whether the show is becoming more like "Breaking Bad."

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Books: Sophie Hannah to write new 'Agatha Christie' novel - Richmond Times Dispatch

Books: Sophie Hannah to write new 'Agatha Christie' novel - Richmond Times Dispatch | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Books: Sophie Hannah to write new 'Agatha Christie' novel
Richmond Times Dispatch

 

Here’s one mystery solved: Sophie Hannah is the crime writer given the formidable and most likely lucrative task of reviving Agatha Christie’s famed detective, Hercule Poirot, in a new novel.

 

The joint venture involving Hannah, HarperCollins publishers and Christie’s descendants means that Hannah will write the first family-authorized sequel to the works that made Christie, who died in 1976, the best-selling novelist in history, with more than 2 billion copies sold.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Read what Sophie Hannah has to say about undertaking the formidable task of following Agatha Christie.

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