Happy Friday, everyone! This week I’m stepping back and taking a look at the larger scope of the world when it comes to writing and reading. How do recent events affect how we view the world, how we write our stories, how we consider our readers, and how we choose what to read ourselves? We can look back and see clearly how the prevalence of fantasy and darker paranormal seemed to grow up around harder economic times, and that the rise of dystopian literature appears to have been a precursor of the current political climate. So what happens now?
I’m not claiming to be drawing any conclusions with this week’s links, but many do play into this theme and I think it’s something to consider going forward. It’s early days yet, but I’m sure the writings of our time will reflect much of this current turmoil eventually, as well as whatever follows. Food for thought going into the weekend. I wish you lots of excellent time to read and to write, and hopefully a bit of inspiration. Enjoy!
Fantasy Is about Power: An Interview with Lev Grossman – A talk with the author of The Magicians trilogy, about the books, and about the TV series based on them that just began its second season.
Translation — and Migration — Is the Lifeblood of Culture – A look at how the mix of ideas and cultures from different nations serves to influence and develop imagination everywhere.
On Dracula’s Lost Islandic Sister Text – On this mysterious, altered version of Stoker’s classic work.
“It’s Going to Be Darker. And that’s OK.” Neil Gaiman on Trump, Brexit, and the Death of Social Media – Gaiman discusses the new series based on American Gods and considers what it means to create art in troubled times.
50 Must-Visit Beautiful Bookstores on Six Continents – See the world, buy some books.
Waterstone’s, the UK’s National Bookstore, Came Back from Near-Death by Transforming into Indie, Local Stores – How the new mastermind behind the chain turned the tide, proving it’s still possible to get readers into bookstores.
What’s the Next Big Dystopian Novel? Margaret Atwood Has some Ideas – The author of The Handmaid’s Tale, which has gained new popularity between current politics and the series soon to debut on Hulu, talks dystopian literature and book trends.
How to Escape the Slush Pile: A Self-Editing Checklist for Short Story Writers – Excellent tips, some of which apply to any writing.
TGIF! This weekend marks the last few days running up to the elections here in the U.S., and I think it’s safe to say that not only the nation but a good part of the world is bracing itself for the outcome. So much rides on who moves into the White House come January, and also on what happens with the balance of power in Congress, particularly for women, for immigrants, for anyone who has traditionally been labeled as “other.” Every vote matters, and while getting out to vote itself is the most important thing, I would also ask people to truly consider whether their vote will have actual weight, and not to vote for someone with no chance of winning simply to make a statement. Too much hinges on the outcome this year for any of us to make what will ultimately be a rather hollow stand.
And on that note, I’ll shut up about politics and get to this week’s links. They may be a little thematic, in that there’s a fair number that focus on diversity in literature, but that theme is ongoing around here, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I’ve also got some writing tips that might particularly interest the NaNoWriMo folks. Wishing you all a great and productive weekend. Happy writing!
From the First to Second Wave: Wonder Woman’s Feminist Roots – Feels appropriate in light of the release of the new trailer for next summer’s film.
NaNoWriMo 2016: Writing Tips and Techniques from Our Authors – A round up of writing tips from the Penguin Books blog.
Jade Chang Won’t Write a Traditional Immigrant Novel – Electric Literature interviews the author of the recent release, The Wangs vs. The World.
Mind Your Languages: Literature in Translation Quiz – Check out your literary translation I.Q. or just pick up some fun facts.
Tuck Everlasting Author Natalie Babbitt Dies at 84 – A brief report on the death of the beloved children’s author.
What to Do When Your Book Jumps the Shark – Tips for how to handle abrupt, ridiculous plot twists that send your book careening off track.
Reading The Handmaid’s Tale in the Year of Trump – I’ve been tempted to reread this book several times this year, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it in the face of reality. Timely.
Greetings from Surrey, B.C., Canada, where I’m attending the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. For those of you looking to attend an excellent, all-genre conference in the next year or two, I highly recommend this one. Great organizers, programming to meet a wide variety of interests and skill levels, and an excellent faculty-to-writer ratio.
Just because I’ve escaped to cooler climes (it’s actually autumn here!), doesn’t mean I have forgotten about Friday links. I’ve got a nice array this week, and I hope they leave you inspired and excited to read and/or write this weekend. Enjoy!
Get Booked Episode 4: Haunted by Horror – This is a relatively new podcast from the folks at Book Riot, where they recommend books in response to a few questions from readers, in this case with a great Halloween/horror theme.
How I Got Millayed – A lovely look at how the author became intrigued by the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
How Libraries Acquire Books – An interesting peek behind the process.
Margaret Atwood on Vampires, Gene-Splicing, and Talking Turnips – Because my going to Canada calls for an appropriately Canadian author link.
Stacy Schiff: By the Book – The author (most recently of The Witches, about the Salem witch trials) talks books, writers, and influences.
Happy Friday! This week saw rain in Los Angeles — finally — and some much more normal temperatures for a change of pace, not that they’re expected to last. But at least the past couple of mornings have felt like fall, bringing to mind the early weeks of each new school year, walking up the block with my bag filled with shiny textbooks and pristine notebooks. And of course with thoughts of school come thoughts of reading, so I’m hoping I can get through some work-related tasks today and leave a bit of time to indulge in a book with a cover this weekend. Though by then it will be back in the 90s.
But first, I have Friday Links for you! If you’re feeling in the reading mood, I’ve a bunch of new recs, and of course the usual round up of odds and ends. I hope you find them entertaining and inspiring. Have a wonderful weekend!
We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series – A compilation of the books they recommended for various age groups over the course of the summer, basing suggestions on what readers might enjoy if they liked other popular titles.
2015 National Book Awards – This year’s long lists in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and books for young readers.
Margaret Atwood: This Much I Know – A brief interview with the author.
Mortified – Artist, writer, and educator Danny Gregory discusses his feelings upon discovering that, in the wake of a busy schedule that left no time for drawing, he seemed to forgotten how, and also how he got his groove back.
The Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest – For emerging writers. Entry deadline October 31st, 2015.
Margaret Atwood talks about the ways in which technology have affected the way we write and read.
Margaret Atwood – A State of Wonder: How Technology Shapes Story from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.
Happy Friday and happy February! Wow, this year sure is flying. Not sure where January got off to already. But I suspect I say something similar every year; I should be used to it by now.
However, it’s a good week for links, and I’m excited to share them with you all. This week marked the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE as well as 50 years since the death of Robert Frost. So I bring you a nice assortment of literary links, plus a couple just for laughs. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
A Critic at Large: Jane’s World – Martin Amis writes about Ms Austen.
Niffenegger Scores Ballet Tie-in for New Novel – The author’s latest will have a ballet version performed by the London Royal Ballet.
The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Margaret Atwood – Wonderful interview with Atwood.
Second Annual Books Are for Lovers – Buy a loved one a book on Valentine’s Day from a brick-and-mortar store; or buy one for yourself!
Getting Away with Murder: The Millions Interviews Ursula K. LeGuin – On the occasion of the author’s new short story collections.
Rare Robert Frost Collection Surfaces 50 Years after His Death – Just donated to the State University of New York at Buffalo.
League of Extraordinary Pen Pals – In case you’re writing a letter a day this month.