Literary Hub5 min read
Grief and Recovery in Thousand Oaks
I once did the hokey pokey at the Borderline Bar and Grill. I’m sure I danced with a sense of irony, I don’t like country music very much, but I remember it was a weeknight and the Borderline was one of the few places in Thousand Oaks that allowed yo
Literary Hub14 min read
Why Have Writers Neglected Elderly Lovers?
I am sick and he is old, but a fierce affection binds us to each other and to this country house, which we will have to leave. When 21 years ago we first made our way down its sloping driveway alongside a meadow with massive trees, I called it Pember
Literary Hub5 min read
Stop Dismissing Inclusive Children’s Books as ‘Too Political’
In a recent article for The Atlantic, Joe Pinsker reports on a recent trend of “woke” picture books, citing sources at Publisher’s Weekly and Barnes & Noble on the popularity of children’s books with a progressive message. Eventually, the piece concl
Literary Hub4 min read
For the Virtues I Have Acquired as a Librarian, I Am Truly Thankful
I spend a lot of time bemoaning the nonsense that patrons get up to in the library (let’s face it, it’s a lot of damn nonsense), and sometimes all that tomfoolery really bums me out. I start to question my life’s work. I wonder why I even bother. Thi
Literary Hub8 min read
Revisiting The Genius Of Middlemarch
Admirers of Middlemarch often cite Virginia Woolf ’s description of George Eliot’s novel as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” But what did she mean? She cannot have been referring only to the novel’s subject matter, even if
Literary Hub4 min read
The Time Halldor Laxness Was Almost Deported from America
While he was in America Icelandic writer Halldór continued to read contemporary literature. He read, for example, Ulysses (1922) by James Joyce, and even though Halldór respected this great work of European modernism, he knew he would not try to foll
Literary Hub8 min read
On Ratchet Respectability and Beyoncé’s Sexual Politics
The following is from Omise’eke Tinsley’s Beyoncé in Formation: Revising Black Feminism. * Yes, my Femme-onade mixtape started as a family affair, but now I’m going to play with something a little different. Something for those nights when you’re wit
Literary Hub4 min read
Cover Reveal: Pola Oloixarac’s Forthcoming Novel is Watching You
Forthcoming from Soho Press in April 2019, Pola Oloixarac’s second novel, Dark Constellations, investigates humanity’s desire for knowledge, control, and evolutionary advancement from three different perspectives, woven together throughout three time
Literary Hub10 min read
The Story of an Iconic Statue: Behind Degas’s Little Dancer
She is famous the world over, but how many people know her name? You can admire her in Washington, Paris, London, New York, Dresden, and Copenhagen, but where is her grave? All we know is her age, 14, and the work she did, because it truly was work,
Literary Hub8 min read
On the Limits of Biofiction: Bethany Layne Talks to David Lodge
This interview was conducted as the final plenary event of the Postmodernist Biofictions conference at the University of Reading on March 25th, 2017. Bethany Layne: […] What opportunities does the biographical novel offer, in contrast to traditional
Literary Hub3 min readFood & Wine
Here It Is! Alice B. Toklas’s Recipe for Hash Brownies
Yesterday, I published a list of unusual literary cookbooks—and in doing so was reminded of perhaps the most notorious recipe ever included in such a volume: “Haschich Fudge,” printed in The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book in 1954. Since this is Thanksgivi
Literary Hub5 min read
The Pugnacious Outlaw Women Behind My Protagonist
Alma Rosales, the main character of my novel The Best Bad Things, is a muscle-bound, butch, pugnacious private detective who loves to start trouble. She prefers trousers to skirts. Her favorite pastimes are brawling and sex. She would be at home in a
Literary Hub8 min read
Weird Hangover Cures Through the Ages
Throughout history, people have done all sorts of weird things involving animals in the hopes of curing a hangover. It is said that the epic drinkers of Outer Mongolia pickled the eyeballs of sheep, horse wranglers in the Wild West made tea out of ra
Literary Hub12 min read
Writing Women’s Pain: Part Two of a Roundtable
We asked some of our favorite writers (listed below, with their latest books) to address what it means to write and research pain and to unpack the ways in which this influences the fiction and nonfiction they write. The following is part two of that
Literary Hub8 min read
The Ripple Effect Of Death In A Hotel
In 1912, the Washington Post reported that an “Esthetic Nobleman” named Count August Seymore had planned to construct a “hotel for suicides” in the nation’s capital. This building, according to the count, would be a “haven for the depressed and weary
Literary Hub7 min readFashion & Beauty
Glimpses Of A Transformative Primary School In Johannesburg
At the end of the year 2001, my mother informed Tshepiso and me that we would be leaving Tshimologo Junior Primary and Retlile Senior Primary schools respectively and start attending a multiracial school in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. To sa
Literary Hub6 min read
The Forgotten Fairy Tale Genius of Édouard Laboulaye
In the happy country of fairies, one leaves it only to find one’s way back. One suffers only to become happy, whereas pain is for us an enigma and life a struggle without end where the better people are the first to fall. There, in the country of fai
Literary Hub10 min read
Shobha Rao on Moving Between Cultures and Loving Little House on the Prairie
Will Schwalbe: Hi. I’m Will Schwalbe, and you’re listening to But That’s Another Story. I believe that every book you read changes you, but some are so powerful that you remember the exact moment you read them. For me, one of those books was Christop
Literary Hub8 min read
Before the Neapolitan Quartet, There Was Sula
The condition began affecting legions of people in the United States in 2013 and has showed no signs of letting up. Once infected, readers were all too eager to spread the disorder to their family, friends and innocent strangers browsing their local
Literary Hub12 min read
How Should We Write in a Time of Unmitigated Disaster?
Toni Morrison began her Nobel lecture with a parable: Once upon a time there was an old woman. Blind but wise . . . One day the woman is visited by some young people who seem to be bent on disproving her clairvoyance and showing her up for the fraud
Literary Hub14 min read
The Good, The Bad, and The Delicious: 20 Unexpected Literary Cookbooks
It’s the week of Thanksgiving, which means that many cooks in America are gearing up for a few solid days of cooking. (As one very poor chef once reminded us, Thanksgiving is a sham, but it’s a sham with yams. It’s a yam sham.) Many of those avid coo
Literary Hub6 min read
From Adderall To Opioids, The Personal Side Of An American Tragedy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks drug overdose deaths by county on color-coded maps. In 1999 a spot of deep red staining southern West Virginia marked the first flaring in a calm sea of blue painted across most of a country obliv
Literary Hub7 min read
Lit Hub Recommends: The Mars Room, Spider-Man 2, and Fresh Off the Boat
It’s completely unfair to recommend a book that isn’t out until next spring, but this one is really worth it: mark your calendars for April 2019 and go get Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise. It’s a brilliant, inventive novel about 1980s theater kids in a F
Literary Hub9 min read
What It’s Like to Be Rejected by Your Religious Family
When my friend’s mother pulled into my parents’ driveway, the sun already lay low on the tree line, infusing the cornfields that surrounded the house with a thick, yellow light. It was the September of my senior year, and I flounced into the house in
Literary Hub6 min read
What One Person Can to Do to Get People Reading
Alvin Irby never wanted to become a teacher, the same profession his mother held for over 30 years in the Little Rock, Arkansas school district in which he grew up. But the adults in Irby’s life saw potential in him that he couldn’t see in himself. “
Literary Hub2 min read
When a Beloved Pet Returns in Another Form
People are getting away with murder, but I can’t get away with having a glass of water in bed. I trade sides with my dog, who won’t feel what I spilled anyway. From this side of the bed, I see the moon through the window. It’s a full moon with—someth
Literary Hub7 min read
What the Stoic Philosophers Knew About Being Free
The chief constraint on personal freedom in ancient Greece and Rome was what Epictetus knew at first hand, the social practice and indignity of slavery. It was slavery, the condition of being literally owned and made to serve at another’s behest that
Literary Hub8 min read
The CIA-Soviet Culture Wars That Shaped American Art
In 1956, W. E. B. Du Bois was invited to attend the Congress of Black Writers and Artists, a conference organized mainly by Alioune Diop (editor of the journal Présence Africaine) to support and strengthen the production of literature by black writer
Literary Hub5 min read
The Bookstore Recommends: 10 Great Small Press Books You Should Read
As the nation’s only nonprofit distributor, Small Press Distribution is dedicated to getting small press literature to the people who want to read it. As such, we’re grateful to our main customers—indie bookstores—the outward-facing purveyors who pre
Literary Hub1 min readTech
Literary Twitter’s Best Responses to Jonathan Franzen’s Rules for Writing
Yesterday, we published a lot of great pieces that probably not that many people read because they were too busy talking about this one on Twitter. (NB, the piece was originally published in The Guardian eight years ago, so at least give him a break
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