Literary Hub5 min read
Ebony Thomas on Seeking the Fantastic When the World Tells You Not To
“There is no magic.” This statement, perhaps most famously attributed to Harry Potter’s uncle Vernon Dursley, is also something that my mother has said to me since I was a child. Magic has long been under siege in my culture, social class, and hometo
Literary Hub12 min read
13 Common Mistakes in Book Reviewing and How to Avoid Them
It’s easy to see why writing criticism attracts so many authors, aspiring or established, and other students of literature: it offers the opportunity to highlight a love of books while showing off one’s own chops as a writer and thinker. Insightful c
Literary Hub5 min read
The Biggest Influence on My Novel Is… McDonald’s?
If you ask about the influences on my novel, I will button my tweed blazer, pretend to blush, and name Martin Amis or Roberto Bolaño, maybe Calvin and Hobbes. In literary circles these replies get the right nods, and getting the right nods is the who
Literary Hub9 min readPsychology
How Do We Reverse the Tide of an Anti-Science America?
We live in extraordinary times for the understanding of science. In May, 2010, the prestigious journal Science published a letter signed by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences. It began “We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation
Literary Hub2 min read
The Boston Bookstore With A Focus On Writers Of Color
Frugal Bookstore, located in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, was founded by Clarrissa and Leonard Egerton with a focus on books by authors of color. What’s your favorite section of the store? My favorite section is African American Studies/Autobiograp
Literary Hub5 min read
“Make Them Care About What You Think” and Other Writing Advice from Nora Ephron
I’ve been rereading the work of American treasure Nora Ephron recently; this is something I can freely say at almost any time. Her birthday was this past weekend, but no one never really needs an excuse to revisit her genius. I do, on the other hand,
Literary Hub6 min read
Anna Deavere Smith: Some Notes on Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field is the most recent installment in what I consider my life’s work: a series of plays I call On the Road: A Search for American Character. Since the 1980s, I have periodically traveled around America, interviewing large numbers of
Literary Hub2 min read
‘Camp Fire,’ A Poem By Sam Sax
after the fires come rain & in the time between one devastation & another we delight in the normal pleasures of a sky weeping like an adolescent in a multiplex parking lot— how unusual for this place without water to be now drowned in it, people lift
Literary Hub7 min readTech
Walking Through the Woods of Midtown with Jessica Francis Kane
A Fake Phone Booth Jessica Francis Kane and I are standing at a fork in the path around Central Park’s pond, unsure which direction to go, when a scruffy-faced white man with a walkie talkie asks “Can I help you?” It’s one of those wonderful New York
Literary Hub6 min read
Trying to Figure Out Bruce Chatwin’s Unpublished Magnum Opus
In most secondhand bookstores and dusty attics, there are stacks of morose-looking books that have been sidelined by history. To call them outmoded might even be generous. Some of them are probably all but paperweights—old encyclopedias, out-of-date
Literary Hub4 min read
Can You Have a Meaningful Long-Distance Relationship with a Dog?
The year my parents brought home a golden retriever puppy from a neighbor’s backyard, we still used flip phones. I drove home from my college dorms and remember my dad showing me a pixelated photo of the puppy’s father. I named her Ella. She was six
Literary Hub9 min readSociety
Ani DiFranco On Reproductive Freedom And Taking On The Patriarchy
“To my children, whom I signed for at a time when I would’ve signed anything,” that’s what Adrienne Rich said when Oriane and I went to see her give a reading uptown one night. Those words followed me home. Mother Nature insists on wanton procreation
Literary Hub10 min read
Lisa Lucas Talks Robert Caro and the Injustices of NYC Urban Planning
Will Schwalbe: Hi. I’m Will Schwalbe, and you’re listening to But That’s Another Story. One of my favorite ways to learn history is by reading biographies. As a kid growing up near Boston, I fell in love with Esther Forbes’ magnificent Paul Revere an
Literary Hub6 min read
In India, One Publisher’s High-Stakes Fight for a Caste-Free Society
In May, 2015, Sagar Shejwal, a young, male nursing student in the west Indian state of Maharashtra, was murdered by a group of men who’d overheard his ringtone: a song praising Bhimrao Ambedkar, the controversial author of the Indian constitution, wh
Literary Hub4 min read
Lit Hub Weekly: May 13 – 17, 2019
TODAY: In 1953, James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain is published.   “Could it be that  masculinity itself is a violent ideology  ?”   Lacy     Johnson   on Rachel Louise Snyder and the names we give to violence. | Lit Hub  On discovering an
Literary Hub5 min read
A New Generation, Betrayed by the Old, is Rising Up on Climate Change
The voice. At first, it was the voice that took hold of them. Slightly off, coming out of a little girl’s body. A metallic voice, sharp as a blade, trembling not because of stress or shyness, oh no—trembling with rage, a cold rage set to overtake the
Literary Hub10 min read
Moving Through New York’s Early 20th-Century Gay Spaces
When Willy W. arrived in New York City in the 1940s, he did what many newcomers did: he took a room at the 63rd Street YMCA. As was true for many other young men, the friends he made at the Y remained important to him for years and helped him find hi
Literary Hub2 min read
Why Democracy Needs Team Human
Hear from the world’s most informed citizens about the rise of populism, authoritarian and illiberal democracy on Keen On, as Andrew Keen investigates the contemporary crisis of democracy. * Douglass Rushkoff is one of the world’s leading humanist cr
Literary Hub12 min read
“I Still Don’t Know Where Joy Division Came From”
The following is from an oral history of Joy Division, compiled from interviews with the surviving band members and those closest to them. * Bernard Sumner: I felt that even though we were expecting this music to come out of thin air, we never, any o
Literary Hub3 min read
Saskia Vogel Talks Sex, Travel, and More
Saskia Vogel shares her very interesting stories on her travels, growing up in Los Angeles, her life in Berlin, how her mother inspired her sense of adventure… Vogel’s debut novel, Permission, has been described as “a story about grief, loneliness an
Literary Hub2 min read
Lit Hub Daily: May 17, 2019
TODAY: In 1900, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is published.   “Like its appeal, its applications are personal and often regional.” On Flannery O’Connor’s two deepest loves: mayonnaise and her mother. | Lit Hub  “I still don’t know wher
Literary Hub5 min readSociety
The Ongoing Exile of the Undocumented
What’s striking about Aaron Bobrow-Strain’s exhaustively researched and well-told story of Aida Hernandez—a young Mexican American woman who was swallowed up by the machinations of what passes for immigration policy in our country, only to escape fro
Literary Hub4 min readNutrition
On the Connection Between Gandhi’s Diet and His Politics
This week on New Books in Food, Carrie Tippen talks with Nico Slate, professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, about the intersections between diet, spirituality, health, and politics for one of the world’s most famous nonviolent political
Literary Hub4 min readFood & Wine
Flannery O’Connor’s Two Deepest Loves Were Mayonnaise and Her Mother
In her short lifetime, Flannery O’Connor wrote more than 600 letters to her mother. To read them, you must travel to the 10th floor of Emory University’s Woodruff Library, where they’re filed in a manuscript collection measuring almost 19 feet. If yo
Literary Hub8 min read
Anger And Art In A Dying Empire
The morning after was ashen. Bad head, bad memories. In their 1972 “drinking sculpture,” Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After, Gilbert and George map a night at Balls Brothers wine bar, Bethnal Green, London, in fragmentary images of booze, ba
Literary Hub7 min read
Sakia Vogel On Grief, Mary Gaitskill, And The City Of Angels
Permission, Saskia Vogel’s debut novel, runs through you like a slow, burning ache. The publisher calls it a dive into the BDSM community of the author’s native Los Angeles, but it’s less about the instrumental side of bondage culture and more about
Literary Hub1 min read
Announcing the 100th Annual O. Henry Prize
Now celebrating its centenary, the O. Henry Prize Stories anthology, edited by Laura Furman, presents the 2019 winners of the prize for short fiction. The anthology will be published this fall, via Anchor Books. We are happy to announce the winners b
Literary Hub7 min read
In a Refugee’s No Man’s Land at the Thai-Burmese Border
Ends of the Earth & Edges of Dream by Pibulsak Lakonpol, translated by Noh Anothai, appears in Issue 17 of The Common and is from Lakonpol’s By the Bank of Brokenhearted River. * Two years ago, I stood aghast at the sight of a little island in the Mo
Literary Hub8 min read
On Robert Caro, Great Men, and the Problem of Powerful Women in Biography
Robert Caro is by now the most celebrated biographer alive, having won two Pulitzers for biography, two National Book Awards, three National Book Critics Circle awards, and a host of other prizes. At work on the fifth and final volume of his magister
Literary Hub6 min read
Of Course, Samuel Johnson Met James Boswell in a Bookstore
James Boswell had been in London for half a year, and had still not met Samuel Johnson, much though he wanted to: he had read The Rambler and Rasselas, and admired Johnson as a master of wisdom. Thomas Sheridan, from whom he took elocution lessons in
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