Alison Kay Hardtmann

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The Atlantic on Twitter: "The First White President, by @tanehisicoates https://t.co/mjv5eJwQAd… "

New conversation<p>New conversation<p>Replying to @<b>cdhthegreat</b> @<b>TheAtlantic</b><p>I did. When I saw this line I was taken aback. Yes slaves did contribute to …

Diana Henry: how to master mac 'n' cheese, the ultimate comfort food

Macaroni cheese could almost make me throw up when I was a child. I vividly remember the first time I had it. It was at a friend’s house. Lorna had a very sensible mother, the kind who kept chocolate – literally – under lock and key and made us stay outside in the fresh air after school until 5pm …

Cooking

Decades After His Death, Max Beckmann Returns To New York

One late December day in 1950, Max Beckmann was standing on a street corner near Central Park in New York City. The German expressionist painter had been on his way to see an exhibition featuring his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Called "American Painting Today," the show was displaying …

Art History

13 Overlooked European Cities Not Enough Americans Visit

Let's say you had a friend from Denmark coming to visit the United States, first time ever, who asked you where she ought to go. Would you say New …

15 Unexpected Cities You Need To See (& Can Afford!)

There's far more to experience in Europe than its most popular (and most Instagrammed) cities. For every Paris or London, there is a yet undiscovered …

Steven Pinker: 'Many of the alleged rules of writing are actually superstitions'

Bad English has always been with us, but clarity and style are far more important than observing dusty usage diktats<p>People often ask me why I followed my 2011 book on the history of violence, The Better Angels of Our Nature, with a writing style manual. I like to say that after having written 800 …

How to Write a 'Big Book'

Lots of writers dream of writing a big book.<p>A book that gets advertised and reviewed everywhere. A book that people are reading on trains, planes, and listening to in their cars on cross country trips or morning commutes.<p>A book that everyone sees at airport book racks. A book that makes all the …

9 Things I Wish I’d Known about Writing from the Beginning « Fantasy-Faction

The other day, I had a lovely conversation with a friend who is also a writer. We both have very similar writing styles, but arrived there from two …

Creative Writing

Making a living from writing, writing from making a living

For authors from Ken Kesey to Nathan Filer and Christie Watson, conventional working life has provided a vital resource – and not only in getting the rent paid<p>According to Mark Twain, experience is an author’s most valuable asset: “It’s the thing that puts the muscle, breath and warm blood into the …

Original short story: Calypso, by David Sedaris

The American broadcaster and author spent most of last year on the road, catching up with family, doing book signings – and allowing strangers to perform minor surgery on him<p>Dave Eggers short story: A Conscientious Young Man With The State Department Will Self short story: Architectural Salvage …

10 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-The-Radar European Destinations

The value of the dollar against the euro is the highest it has been in years, making now the perfect time to take that trip you've been meaning to plan. But instead of the usual suspects (lookin' at you, London and Paris), why not try one of these under-the-radar spots that are far less crowded but …

European Travel

14 Things To Do To Be A Great Writer

I am an author, a playwright, and a freelance editor. I get asked all of the time what advice I have for aspiring writers. I have met a lot of …

Creative Writing

Revealed: The 20 cheapest European cities for an autumn break

European Travel

Now Is The Best Time To Visit Europe. Here's Where To Go.

If continents were dogs, Europe would win Best in Show. The landmass is a seemingly perfect combination of pristine beaches, charming villages, historic cities and stunning nature. There's so much to see that planning a trip can be overwhelming... mostly because it's overwhelmingly expensive.<p>But …

'Voice' Isn't the Point of Writing

Whether crafting fiction or how-to manuals, self-expression is a negotiation.<p>Find your own voice. That's what teachers told me in creative-writing classes when I was in college 20 years ago—it's what the <i>Guardian</i> trumpeted as the goal of creative writing courses just this month. It's what old …

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Writers Make

Every month, I join Nevertheless Writers, a cross-genre group of five writers, to discuss writing and publishing at local libraries and schools. My favorite part of the evening is always the question-and-answer session, where everyone from teenaged writers of fantasy novels to aging hipster poets …

Cristina Hartmann's answer to Do you need to be a good reader in order to become a good writer?

To write, you must understand stories. To understand stories, you must read them.<p>On the surface, this equation is simple, but it isn't necessarily …

A History of Paris in 150 Photographs

A new exhibit claims to present the social history of Paris as seen through the lens of Magnum photographers over the past century. But its grand …

20+ Stylish Hostess Gifts to Bring to a Holiday Party

Say thanks with a little something she'll want to show off.<p>Don't go to that soirée empty-handed. Bring one of these thoughtful gifts and guarantee yourself an invite back.

Expert guide to Brussels

The basics<p><b>Currency:</b> Euro<p><b>Languages:</b> French and Dutch are the two main native languages of Brussels (all street signs and most notices are written in both); English is widely spoken, especially among people engaged in the tourist industry<p><b>Telephone code:</b> dial 00 32 for Belgium, then 2 for Brussels, …

European Travel

Expert guide to Florence

Essential Information<p><b>British embassy in Rome</b>: 00 39 06 4220 0001; gov.uk<br>Tourist office and information: the main tourist information office is at Via Cavour 1r (00 39 055 290 832, firenzeturismo.it). Open Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm. There are also branches at the train station and the airport<p><b>Emergency</b> …

Top 10 Things You Must Do in Amsterdam

You know how you have that long list of the top places you want to travel? Well, Amsterdam was never on my list and now I'm kicking myself wondering why it wasn't! I still haven't figured out why, but I sure am glad our paths crossed because I am now in love with it. Love may not be strong enough …

London's best new restaurant and bar openings

Roganic, Marylebone<p>Having departed Fera at Claridge’s last April, Simon Rogan on January 9 returns to the capital with Roganic. A popular pop-up on Blandford Street in Marylebone 2011, in this latest incarnation Roganic will occupy a site on the same street but this time on a permanent basis; …

Madrid: readers’ travel tips

Tapas, parks and beautiful sunsets in Europe’s highest capital city. Readers share their best parts of Madrid • Madrid city guide: the best bars, restaurants and hotels<p><b>Winning tip:</b> <b>Plaza de Santa Ana</b><p>If you want to avoid the tourist-heavy Plaza Major and eat with the locals instead, Plaza Santa Ana …

Chef and writer Enrica Rocca on Venice

For the founder of the renowned L’Express cooking school, Venice still has amazing local food and peace and quiet; you just have to know where to look<p><b>Venice in winter is a different city</b> – there are fewer people, you don’t have to queue, the light is amazing, and you get these atmospheric mists. …

Travel Back in Time to These Amazing Ancient Cities

The world's oldest cities are once-in-a-lifetime destinations, places that effortlessly inspire awe and put you in the shoes of a time traveler. To walk labyrinthine streets, marvel at crumbling fortress walls, or see kings' tombs that have endured thousands of years is to experience a fleeting …

Morning at Lofoten

32 Best Christmas Gifts for Men

Psst ... pick up a few things for yourself while you're at it.<p>Even though you like to joke that he couldn't shop for himself if his life depended on it, when the holidays roll around, you still want to get him something that shows how well you know the guy. These smart ideas will do the trick.

Expert guide to Vienna

Local laws & etiquette<p>Formal greetings are the norm when meeting someone, and you'll hear “Grüss Gott” (greeting the almighty), or the more worldly “Guten Morgen/Tag/Abend”, just about everywhere you go, and it's customary to return the salutation. Locals love their titles, so if you are meeting …

European Travel

Travel tips: medieval Krakow, plus the week’s best deals home and away

Exloring the Kazimierz district of Krakow, plus a Cornish seaside break and olive picking in Tuscany<p>Take me there: Kazimierz, Krakow<p><b>Why go?</b><br>If you’ve seen <i>Schindler’s List</i> you’ll be familiar with the story of Kazimierz, home to Kraków’s Jewish community for 500 years before it was destroyed by the …